Casetify – Awesome. Tech. Cases.

Do you have a cell phone, or an iPad, or a MacBook, or an Apple Watch, or all of the above? Have you ever wanted to customize cases for any of the aforementioned items? Not just custom cases, but cases that will actually protect your items with a great combination of form and functionality? If you have, then Casetify is the place for you.

A friend of mine introduced me to Casetify when she became a designer for them. Her name is Jande and she’s an incredibly talented artist. You can receive a discount on her Casetify designs here, or view all of her wonderful creations at her website, Inspire Your Art.

I have this never-ending compulsion to create. It’s kind of a problem. Whether it’s writing songs, writing stories, painting furniture, stamping jewelry, etc, it regularly keeps me up until about 2 a.m. Thankfully, like Jande, I also became approved to be a designer for Casetify and it has been wonderful. It allows me to fill my need for creation, it allows me to earn a little extra money, and yet I’m able to create case designs fairly quickly. It’s like mini art without the mess, because I design most everything on my computer. If you have a similar desire to design, then creating for Casetify might be a good fit for you, too. You can apply to become a Casetify artist here.

But you don’t have to be an artist with Casetify to design your very own case. You can create your own custom case or create a custom case as a gift for someone else, just by visiting Casetify’s website and following the instructions under the Custom Cases tab.  Or, you can just purchase one of the many designs I have been creating for your tech-protection pleasure on my Casetify artist page Blue Paper Garden.

xoxo ~ Alisha

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PS – I have been fortunate to become an affiliate with Casetify, so if you purchase using this link, or some of the links posted above, I will receive a bit of compensation, but at no additional cost to you. I appreciate your support! 

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Gold Leaf VS Gold Spray Paint

Have you ever wondered how gold leaf and gold spray paint compare when used on the same object? We made it our goal to find out in this DIY.

This is not a sponsored post, but we’ll share with you the products we used in case you would like to use them yourself.

Here’s a video of our DIY or you can scroll below to read about it.

We purchased two identical wooden stars that were on clearance at Hobby Lobby.1479013-a-0617[5]

On one, we spray painted it with Rustoleum Metallic Bright Coat in gold. We bought it at Home Depot, but you can find it at a variety of stores.41dhTgpd-4L

On the other, we applied Martha Stewart’s gilding adhesive and then applied Martha Stewart Gold Leaf.

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We knew beforehand that the gold leaf would have more reflective properties and more texture and this was proven again in our DIY project. What we really wanted to compare was color and see how far off the gold spray paint was from the gold leaf. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the color between the gold spray paint and the gold leaf was practically identical. And even though the gold spray paint was not as reflective as the gold leaf, it still has a decent amount of reflective properties.

The main reason for this DIY was to help me figure out what to do with the feet of a clawfoot tub I am painting. I am painting the underside of the tub black and I want the feet to be gold. But I wasn’t sure of the best method of getting them gold. After doing this DIY, I have decided that I will spray paint the feet of the tub, at least at first. It will be easy for me to do while I already have the tub set up outside for painting. If after placing the tub inside I feel the feet aren’t shiny enough, then I can add gold leaf to them. One of the nice things about gold leaf is that there’s no overspray or fumes and you can do it in your home. Also, since the gold paint and leaf match so well, I can just add touches of leaf for embellishment if I would like to.

If I do apply gold leaf eventually, I would definitely practice more before doing so. I would also purchase a proper gilding brush that helps you lift the leaf sheets without tearing it.

Gold Leaf Pros

  • Beautiful finish (if applied correctly)
  • Timeless style
  • Sheen and texture
  • Can be applied indoors

Gold Leaf Cons

  • Expensive
  • Somewhat difficult application
  • Time-consuming
  • Delicate finish that’s not highly durable

Gold Spray Paint Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Ease of application
  • Speed of application
  • Fairly durable finish
  • Color

Gold Spray Paint Cons

  • Overspray
  • Fumes
  • Best if done outside, so dependent on weather
  • Not as reflective as gold leaf
  • No texture except texture of item being painted

We’d love to hear about your gold leaf or gold spray paint projects! Did this DIY help you decide which medium you will use on a project?

 

 

 

 

Music Mondays |”Drummer Boy” | Justin Bieber | Busta Rhymes | Closet Covers

We hope you’re enjoying this holiday season! Today’s Music Monday video is another session in our Closet Covers series.

We’re spittin’ heat in this cover of Drummer Boy by Justin Bieber and Busta Rhymes! Come check out our rapping skills!

Let us know what you think and what songs you would like to hear us do cover versions of!

Music Mondays | “Sweet Dreams” | Closet Covers

People often ask us where we record our music. The answer? Drumroll, please….

In our closets!!

We have also recorded in our cars, in business offices, and even in real studios, but you will usually find us recording vocals in our closets. (*Bonus- The clothes help create a bit of soundproofing!)

Since we do spend so much time recording in our closets, we thought we’d have a segment on Music Mondays called Closet Covers, where we will do covers of some of our favorite songs in our little closet studios.

First in our Closet Covers series is a classic and well-loved song from our early childhood, “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics.

The awesome arrangement of this cover was made by our good friend, Josh Osgood. You can find him here:  https://www.facebook.com/JoshOsgoodMusic/

Watch our Closet Cover of “Sweet Dreams” below!

Thanks so much for watching! We hope you enjoyed this acoustic take on this classic song! Let us know other songs you would like to be featured in our Closet Covers series!

Music Mondays | Oscar Isaac & Alisha Merrick sing an original by Grady McShane, Sweet Lady Death

Some of you may remember that our original blog posts started with Music Mondays, where we would share some of our favorite music finds. We are revamping Music Mondays to now be live/acoustic videos of original and cover songs.

Before we were Laughing Moms, we started out writing original music together as Alisha found Eden. As much as we love to laugh, we also love music. It’s a passion we want to continue to develop and share. And though we’re both busy moms and live 4 hours apart and have commitments to create content as Laughing Moms, we also want to commit to this goal of creating music.

To kick off our Music Mondays, we have a special treat for you. Our first video is a song written by an incredibly talented friend, Grady McShane. The song is called Sweet Lady Death. It was arranged by another incredibly talented friend, Oscar Isaac, and performed by Oscar Isaac and Alisha Merrick.

When Alisha was 13 years old, she was booted out of her hometown of Miami, Florida by Hurricane Andrew.  As fate would have it, that same storm also booted Oscar out of Miami.  Shortly thereafter, Grady, Oscar, and Alisha all became fast friends at high school together.  Fast forward many years and miles apart, and they are still dear friends who manage to get together and make music every once in a while. We hope you enjoy Sweet Lady Death.

What songs would you like to hear on Music Mondays as cover songs? We’d love to hear from you!

Pantry Perfect

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Back in February, as I lay in bed recovering from a particularly difficult pregnancy and delivery, I came across this post by ClassyClutter.net. Sericin-Pantry-After_1_resized
websiteI stared at her beautiful pantry often and started dreaming of ways to get my own beautiful pantry. I began looking for supplies and swapped ideas with my super organized friend, Charity. She said she would help me when I was ready to tackle my pantry and I finally started believing that the perfect pantry of my dreams could become a reality.

One of my favorite things about Classy Clutter’s pantry was the pretty wall. Even though they provide no real function, I knew I wanted pretty walls in my pantry. Classy Clutter sells the vinyl decals that she used on her wall, but I had a different vision in mind of the look I wanted.

In my search, I came across quite a few wallpapers that had an old, vintage newspaper feel and I fell in love with this one:0a16cbba-5728-4e5d-bd59-d5a510ba9725_1000  Continue reading

Drop Dead Doorgeous

Drop Dead Doorgeous

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Once upon a time, we had an ugly front door.IMG_1397

The wood stain didn’t really match our house, on the inside or the outside. It was just bleh. You can see how upset it made my daughter, seen crying in the window. My husband hated that it swung open into our office on the right, instead of into the main living areas on the left. When we moved in, I made chalk paint with Persimmon Red by Martha Stewart and painted the inside of the door with it, like our office walls, and antiqued it. I liked it a lot, but my husband wasn’t as big a fan. It stayed that way for the first two years in our house, though.

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Then my husband found someone who said they could flip our door around. Weird, I know, but it made my husband giddy. Once flipped, the Persimmon Red side now clashed with the outside of the house, and I’m sure violated HOA guidelines. The once boring wood stain that used to be outside, was now inside my house, clashing with the awesome colors surrounding it.

I got approval from the HOA to paint the outside of our door an antique-white color that would match the mortar between our bricks and the decorative concrete rail on our balcony.

This was my inspiration door.

 Front Door Color Option

I was driving to a friend’s house one day and saw this door on a house in her neighborhood. Their brick and column surround were similar colors to the brick and concrete on our house, so I thought it would look great on our door.

By the time everything was approved and I could start working on the door, I was almost 6 months pregnant. Fortunately, I have a big, strong hubby. He took the door off the hinges and took out it back to sand both sides down. It was quite a process. He used an orbital sander and the door has some scars from his “drive it like you stole it” approach to using a sander. But I’m not complaining, and it adds character, right?

It took way longer than anticipated, so by the time he had sanded both sides, it was too late for me to paint it and we didn’t want to go the whole night without a front door on our house. So, back to its hinges it went, destined to stare at me, ugly and unfinished for another week before we would have time to tackle the project again.

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When I was finally able to start painting, I was a bit discouraged by the paint coverage and worried we had really jacked up our door. I used Rust-oleum gloss white paint and primer to prime the door. Check out the video to see how poor the coverage was. I don’t think it was the paint’s fault, I think it was our fault for not sanding it better. We tried a couple different grits and I think they were either too rough or not rough enough. We didn’t find the best option for our door. It was actually sort of fuzzy after we sanded.  Like, it seemed to have tiny fibers all over the door. We tried sanding a bit more and it eventually got better in most areas, but some never quite got smooth. Those are the dark areas you’ll see in the video that were not covered well with the primer.

I thought I would use and like RustOleum Heirloom White, but I also bought  Matte Castle Rock. I was trying to match the mortar between my bricks. The Heirloom White was a little too light and the Castle Rock was too dark. Neither of those colors came in a glossy finish, so my intent was to use one and then spray it with a glossy acrylic finish. But since I didn’t care for either color, I then tried  Ivory in Gloss from Rust-Oleum and it was actually a great match.  It’s kind of a weird color. It’s a creamy white, but the tint that helps the white become a creamy white is like a peachish color and sometimes the sprayer would just squirt out little globlets of peach. I haven’t really had that happen from other cans of Rust-oleum. Maybe these were an old batch of Ivory or something. But I had to wipe those off quickly so they wouldn’t stand out on the door.

By the way, the most important tool for me when spray painting is this Rust-Oleum Comfort Grip Handle!! It makes the job soooo much easier! Get one! You’ll thank me later!

I let my husband pick the inside color this time and he opted for silver. I ended up using both Rust-oleum’s silver spray paints,  Specialty Metallic and Bright Coat Metallic Finish. I tested them both on the door and couldn’t tell enough of a difference between them for this project.  These were sprayed over Rust-oleum’s flat gray primer, which had great coverage. I really liked the reflective silver on the door, but the detail on the door got lost with it. I decided to antique both the silver side and the ivory side after hanging the door back up. I used Valspar antiquing glaze for this and the technique is detailed in the video.

This project felt like a train wreck throughout most of the process, but somehow I ended up liking the final product. What do you think? Have you tried spray painting  your front door? What’s your dream door color?

BTW, this post wasn’t sponsored by anyone. Those were just the products I used for this project. But I do have affiliate links posted for some of the products I used.