Category Archives: Lewis Art

Therapy

Bruderhof Communities

Playing in my art room is therapy for me. An escape from anything that is bothering me. A way to work out feelings. A joy in experimentation.

We converted a third bedroom into my art room several years ago. I helped my husband put up extra shelves all the way across one wall. We got extra stand-alone shelves and a drafting table advertised in the newspaper. We put up a few more shelves on another wall. I converted the closet into a supplies area. We put up another large table that is as long as one wall.  There is a ceiling fan from which I hung a cute mobile of merry-go-round horses.

Years ago my husband and son got together to give me a present of a lot of my favorite songs on CDs. I have a player up there, so I can fill the room with glorious music – some of which I danced to as a teenager a hundred years or so ago – and lose myself in the world of music and paint.

The only limitations is my imagination and my ability to make my visions come out on whatever I’m trying to paint. Lately I’ve been having ideas for tees on which I have spots that won’t come out in the wash. Since I’m a slob, I seem to have a never-ending supply of tees that can use a face lift.

Yesterday I finished another.

 

Lately I am trying to do things each day that make me stronger.  I’m getting back into exercising, monitoring what I eat more carefully, working in my flowers when the weather isn’t lethal, playing in my art room, spending time with our son, walking outside several times a day, and reading.

The result of all this is hopefully a stronger, happier, calmer me. I don’t have to be able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound, but being able to handle whatever comes as well as possible would be good.  I am in DAY 4 today. So far, so good!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, aging, Attitude, building good habits, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, fun in my art room, Giving New Life to Old Tops, Health Alert, Lewis Art, playing in my art room, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Perilous Adventure

We got our blood pumping on the way to Lunch Bunch this morning. We wanted to change out the decoration on our mailbox. Usually, this is a very quick thing. We take off the old one, put it in the truck and replace it with the new one.

Today we started to take off the old one and wasps came flying out of the holes in the post that holds up the mailbox and acts as the attachment bar for the decorations. We had this happen once before, but we hosed it with wasp spray and hadn’t seen any wasps since. My husband got ‘grazed’ (but not actually stung badly) before we could get back into the truck. We took the can of wasp spray we now keep in the truck and hosed down the post again before heading for Lunch Bunch and errands.

We checked things out carefully when we returned before getting out and putting up the caterpillar with the Hookah pipe from Alice in Wonderland.  This time, no problem, but we’ll remain wary for awhile.

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Excitement

We went to do errands this morning with Catbert in the back of the truck to put up on the mailbox as we left. When we got out to change the decoration, we found 8,011 (more or less) wasps had taken up residence inside the supporting pole that is between the back of the mailbox and the decorations. It is filled with a bunch of holes in line vertically so that we can attach the decorations with bolts and nuts.

This has never happened before, and they were really swarming. We decided to do our errands, add a stop at Yeager’s Hardware for some cans of wasp spray, and then see what we could do when we got back.

They were having a buy one, get one free sale on wasp spray, so we took advantage of that. We parked at the bottom of the driveway and my husband hosed down one side of the pole after telling me to ‘stay in the truck.’ I thought of all the movies we’ve seen where a character tells someone else to ‘stay in the car’ and they never do, resulting in all kinds of bad things. I also thought of created a cheesy horror movie – naming it, “Revenge of the Wasps” in my head as I watched.  He had to use almost one whole can in order to get things under enough control that we were able to

  • rush over and get the “Fritz the Cat” decoration down and into the back of the truck.  He then sprayed two persistent wasps who kept reappearing.
  • We then rushed over and put up “Catbert, the evil HR Director” from Dilbert cartoons, spraying one more time before we drove up the driveway again.

We left the partial can and the 2nd full can of wasp spray in the truck so that we are armed to get our mail tomorrow. I also want to make sure the wasps are gone so they don’t sting our wonderful mailman.

When I told my husband it was time to change mailbox decorations, I really wasn’t expecting such an ordeal.

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Post for Irene

These are the two owls I was talking about in my post about Fritz the Cat as our current mailbox decoration. Each is about 2-1/2 feet tall and about 18 inches wide.  We put them on top of posts on either side of the driveway toward the bottom, where we have a bar we can use to close the driveway.

 

This is the picture I SHOULD have posted, where you can see one of the owls and just a hint of the one on the other post.

I hope you’ve been having a wonderful day, Sweet Irene!

 

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“Fritz the Cat” Mailbox Decoration

Fritz the Cat is a comic strip created by Robert Crumb. Set in a “supercity” of anthropomorphic animals, the strip focused on Fritz, a feline con artist who frequently went on wild adventures that sometimes involved sexual escapades. Crumb began drawing this character in homemade comic books when he was a child. ~ Wikipedia.

This is one of my husband’s favorite comic strips and characters.  This decoration will stay up until the middle of August.

We cut the outline out of sheet metal using our CNC machine. My husband did the computer coding that makes it so the computer can ‘see’ the design we’re trying to make and can guide the torch. This was a difficult one for me because it was mainly just bare sheet metal with the mailbox mounting on it. I did a lot of work with our overhead projector marking the metal so I could then try to paint the design on both sides of the piece. We sprayed the finished piece with polyurethane to protect the paint as much as possible.

You can also see our ‘welcome’ robot and one of the two owls on either side of our driveway.

It’s easy to see that you are passing a weird place as you drive by. :0)

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Yosemite Sam

 

We put Yosemite Sam on the mailbox this morning.

He was a favorite cartoon character of both my husband and myself.  I can still hear him yelling, “I’m-a warnin’ you, Stranger!”

We found a picture of him on the net. My husband used a program that converts a picture into code the computer can recognize. We have a CNC set-up in our shop. (A computer, plus a big metal table on which we put 4′ x 8′ sheets of metal. The computer-guided torch follows the code and cuts out the design. My husband creates an attachment piece for the mailbox and welds it onto the design. I then mark salient points on the bare metal, both sides, with the use of an overhead projector.

I then paint the piece on both sides and then spray the sides with polyurethane spray for protection.

This piece is about 2 feet high and 2-1/2 feet wide.

 

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Take Time

sayingimges.com

I rewarded myself for prevailing over my technology challenge this morning by spending some time in my art room. I’ve spent part of three afternoons up there and it really does my heart good. When I’m playing up there with my favorite music playing, all the stuff that is bothering me goes away. My heart and mind rest and I can simply enjoy playing in the paint trying to make the images rattling around in my head come out on the piece I’m working on.

The last three days I’ve been making a new set of note cards. I finished them today. They are drying.

Tomorrow I’ll take pictures, share them with you, and then list them on my new Etsy site, ArtworthyNoteCards.

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Independence Day Lewis Mailbox Decoration

 

We put up our Independence Day mailbox decoration last night. We love Snoopy and Woodstock, and this design really made us smile.

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Ask Alice

The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland went up this morning.

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”  ~ Alice In Wonderland , Lewis Caroll

 

 

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Popeye the Sailor Man

One of our long-time favorite cartoon characters is Popeye the Sailor Man. My husband and I both grew up watching these cartoons. When we started cutting out designs for our mailbox, we had great fun choosing these characters, and we quickly agreed that Popeye should be one of them.

We cut these out of heavy sheet metal using a computer-guided torch on a CNC setup. My husband converts the image we find on the net to a code the computer recognizes. We save the code on a thumb drive and take it to the shop computer. The program guides the torch to cut out the design. We then mount the design on the special attachment piece my husband welds for attaching it to the mailbox.

We use an overhead projector to mark the significant part of the design on both sides of the cut out metal and then I paint both sides, using outdoor paint. We spray the finished piece with protective coats of polyurethane.

We hope people who drive past the bottom of our driveway smile when they see him.

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Changing the Mailbox Decoration

On the way to our second round of errands this afternoon, we changed the mailbox decoration. This is Wyle E. Coyote, Sonic the Hedgehog, and the Roadrunner.

This decoration was a lot of fun to make. We cut the main decoration out with the CNC machine and computer-guided torch, then added rod to make the Roadrunner’s legs. The decoration is probably 4 feet wide by 3 feet tall.

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Calvin & Hobbes

On the way to the grocery store this morning, we changed our mailbox decoration. This one is about 1-1/2 feet tall and about 2 feet wide. We loved the comic strip by Bill Watterson, his wonderful sense of humor and surprising touches of warmth, like this design of his.

We captured the design from the Internet. My husband then converted the design to G-code (a language computers can understand.) We took the thumb drive out to the shop and put it into the computer than guides the torch on our CNC set up. This allows the torch to follow the directions in the G-code, cutting out the design for us. My husband then makes and welds on the attachment piece that we can mount on the mailbox.

I then use the overhead projector to mark the salient lines on the metal on both sides and then paint both sides with exterior paint. We then spray the piece with polyurethane to protect the paint from the sun and weather as much as possible.

This decoration will stay up until we replace it later this month with an Easter decoration.

 

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St Patrick’s Day Mailbox Decoration

It’s cold outside, even though we have a lot of pretty sunshine today. The wind is really gusty and rips right through you.  We felt like we would freeze while trying to put this up.

The picture doesn’t show it, but the gold coins in the bucket sparkle in the sunshine. He is about 2-1/2 feet tall.

I hope you have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!

 

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Sylvester and Tweety Pie Mailbox Decoration

We are scurrying around, trying to get things accomplished outside today since our weather is supposed to deteriorate, starting tonight and not getting much better until Wednesday of next week. We’re supposed to get cold rain, sleet, snow, and super-low temperatures for Arkansas starting tomorrow morning.

We changed out our mailbox decoration, putting up our Sylvester & Tweety Pie decoration.  We’re hoping that once this cold spell is past, the worst of the winter will be behind us and we can embrace spring.

Later this afternoon, I’ll cover my new onion sets in the garden with a king-sized sheet. I’ll cover my seed starters in the greenhouse with some towels. Then I’ll just have to keep all appendages crossed that this will be enough to bring them through. I’ll be dashing out to uncover them, and then cover them again through Wednesday.

I hope that the weather is better where you are, or that you’re able to cope with the weather you’re experiencing.

I’m trying to send calmness and serenity to Mother Nature.

Happy day, everyone!

 

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The Etched Vase Project Continues

I tried DRAWING the design on the glass with white, then black, and neither one was working. I finally just grabbed the dremel and started using it freehand, outlining the designs I’ll fill in later.

This is hard to see. I put a sheet of carbon paper inside the vase, hoping the designs would show up well enough for you to see what I’m trying to do here.

 

This project will take a long time to do. I’ll only do a bit at a time, since working with the dremel is difficult for me. It’s tedious and must be done over and over to show up well on the glass. I’ll post pictures as an area is finished.

I haven’t done this in a long time, so I’m having a good time. I like not having a deadline, or someone depending on it.

Here’s hoping I can do something that looks okay.

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Vase Etching Restart

Yesterday I told you I was going to cut out the design I drew a long time ago on sticky paper on this vase and then etch the design with a dremel.

After working at it for a long time, I finally decided that the paper had been on the glass too long and I wasn’t going to be able to do a reasonable job of cutting out the design. I spent about an hour getting the sticky paper off and the vase clean once again.

Today I’m going to try using a white marker to draw the design on the glass and THEN try to use the dremel. I have a sand blaster in the shop, but the etching done there comes out pretty evenly. What I’m trying for this time is a rougher, texture-y etching.

I have no clue if this will work, but it’s fun to try different techniques.

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Vase Etching Project

I’ve started a vase etching project, experimenting as I go.

So far, I’ve sketched a design on paper on the outside of the vase. I’m planning to cut it out and then use a dremel to ‘etch’ the design into the glass.

This is a view of another part of the vase.

Here I’ve started to cut out the design. I have no idea how this will turn out, but I’m having fun trying.

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“Waiting for Spring”

I’ve had fun in my art room, experimenting with different techniques with my new set of acrylic paint. Since our weather has been yucky lately – and is currently getting worse as I type – AND I’m yearning for spring, I painted this –

 

“Waiting for Spring” -Acrylic – 9 x 12 – Linda Lewis

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St. Patrick’s Day Gift Ideas

 

 

Lucky Shamrocks are hand painted on this one-of-a-kind journal by Linda Lewis. The outside cover is linen type off white with nice texture. The inside has 100 blank pages for your thoughts, dreams, lists, memories – Dimensions of the journal are 3-3/4″ wide x 5-3/4″ long x 3/8″ thick. A great size to put in your purse, tote, glove compartment, school bag. Make this YOUR lucky year with a “Luck of the Irish” hand painted journal!

 

St. Patrick’s Day – Hand Painted Basket

“St. Patrick’s Day” is a one-of-a-kind hand-painted wooden basket by Linda Lewis. The oval basket is 11″ long x 9.5″ wide x 7 ” tall. (The basket is about 13.5″ tall with the handle extended straight up.) The dimensions of the inner basket at the base are approximately 8″ x 6″. The “squares” created by the weaving are painted a deep green and then have a layer of clear glitter paint on top. The picture shows the front and back of the basket, with a different Irish saying on each. There are silver and gold shamrocks on both sides of the sayings. If you’re not Irish, try to be adopted by someone who IS!

 

St. Pat’s Memory Box

One-of-a-kind heavy paper memory boxes. Please indicate your choice of “3 Shamrocks” or “Multi” when you order. May the luck of the Irish be with you!  “Painted Shamrocks” is 9.5″ in diameter and 5″ high. It has shamrocks ribbon around the lid plus feathers as accents.  “Foam Shamrocks” is 8″ in diameter and 4″ high. It has several different sizes of foam shamrocks, plus gold paint as accent. The boxes and lids are painted with varnish for extra protection. Initialed and dated. Please indicate your choice when you order.

 

 

St. Pat’s Day Tote Bag

12.5″ wide x 13.5″ tall x 4″ deep, with open gusset in the bottom. Each tote bag is hand-painted with fabric paint, signed and dated, then sprayed with several layers of Scotchgard to prevent stains. Hand wash. Please indicate your choice of “Luck of the Irish,” “Irish Rainbow,” or “Kiss me!” when you order.

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Filed under Holiday Gift Ideas, holidays, Lewis Art, LindaLewis on ArtFire

Fun in My Art Room

I love hand painted stationery, note cards, and greeting cards. I love receiving real letters and notes from people, and the people I write seem to enjoy it, too. I also love giving sets to my good friends and relatives for their use.

My newest theme is, “Thumbelina,” where I’ve used my thumb print to create happy characters running all over colorful stationery sheets and note cards. I also include a correspondingly hand painted envelope to go with each of the 5 different designs in a set. The stationery also includes 5 blank sheets for longer letters.

As you can see there are also Thank You note cards.

 

Thank you notes and note cards.

One sample of a stationery design.

Examples of corresponding envelopes.

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Filed under Don't Miss These Products!, Lewis Art, LindaLewis on ArtFire

It Feels Like Christmas!

I found a super-good deal on a set of acrylic paints a few days ago. They arrived today, and I feel like a kid at Christmas! There are 14 tubes of paint in the set and I have paid more for 4 tubes – plus shipping – than I had to pay for this set with FREE shipping. Woo HOOO!

For some reason I haven’t been up to my art room in quite a while. I felt I needed to accomplish more on my purging project to go through 30+ years of STUFF we’ve accumulated and really don’t need.

I’m beginning to figure out now that the more I go through things, donating a bunch of things to others, throwing away a bunch of things, and then reorganizing and cleaning before putting what is good to keep again, I’m in a never-ending job. The more I DO, the more I SEE to do!

I’m going to give myself permission to take a bit of a break from all the work and play in my art room this week.

 

I don’t know if I’ll come up with anything, but I’ll have a wonderful time dreaming, experimenting, and playing!

keetonsonline.com – via Sherry Dellaria McGrath

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Happy Chinese New Year!

This is the Year of the Pig.

“Flying Pig” by Harvey and Linda Lewis

We think that in a lot of ways, pigs are flying and have been for quite awhile.

My husband and I had a great time creating this flying pig from a 25 gallon propane tank and leftover parts, plus sheet metal. This picture shows him hanging from a tree over the driveway during an ice storm last year.

 

This is a closer look at him in better weather as we prepared to hang him from the tree.

He makes us smile every time we go down the driveway or come up again. :0)

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Valentine’s Day Ideas

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Valentine’s Day Decoration for Our Mailbox

 

 

We put up our Valentine’s Day decoration this morning on the way out for errands.

We cut this out on our CNC set up out of sheet metal with a computer-guided torch.  We use an overhead projector to mark the metal and then I paint both sides with outdoor paint. We spray polyurethane on to protect the design from the elements as much as possible.

Sweet and sappy – my kind of Valentine’s Day!

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Tasmanian Devil Mailbox Decoration

My husband and I have a lot of  fun creating decorations for our mailbox based on characters we loved when we were kids. The latest is the Tasmanian Devil from the Loony Tunes cartoons. The creator of “Taz” is Robert McKimson.

 

“The Tasmanian Devil, commonly referred to as Taz, is an animated cartoon character featured in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. Though the character appeared in only five shorts before Warner Bros. Cartoons closed down in 1964, marketing and television appearances later propelled the character to new popularity in the 1990s. His first name is revealed in the 1957 short Bedevilled Rabbit, when his wife addresses him as “Claude”.

Taz is generally portrayed as a ferocious, albeit dim-witted, omnivore with a notoriously short temper and little patience. He got his name in the short Ducking the Devil. Though he can be very devious, he is also sweet at times. His enormous appetite seems to know no bounds, as he will eat anything in his path. He is best known for his speech consisting mostly of grunts, growls, and rasps (in his earlier appearances, he does speak English with primitive grammar) as well as his ability to spin like a vortex and bite through nearly anything.[1] Taz does have one weakness: he can be calmed by almost any music. While in this calm state, he can be easily dealt with. The only music known not to pacify Taz is the bagpipes, which he finds insufferable.[2]

In 1991, Taz got his own show Taz-Mania which ran for four seasons in which Taz was the main protagonist.” 

Source: Wikipedia

We get the image from the Internet. My husband converts the drawings into code the computer can read and reproduce. A computer-guided torch allows us to cut the design out of sheet metal on our CNC set up. Our usual pieces are about 2 feet tall and about 2.5 feet wide. We then mark the salient features on each side of the design using an overhead projector. My husband welds a mount on the piece that allows us to attach it to the pole on our mailbox. I then paint the piece on both sides with weather-resistant paint and then spray it with polyurethane to protect it from the elements as much as possible.

We enjoy creating these decorations. Rather than fighting about money, how to raise the kids, etc., we ‘discuss’ – with strong opinions – WHAT we’ll make, WHICH DESIGN is best for our needs, WHAT COLORS to paint it, and more. It brings a lot of joy in our lives to create these together – something we never pictured ourselves doing. :0)

A man drove up our steep 650 + foot driveway the other day to ask us if our work was for sale! He drives a vehicle for the Senior Citizens Center in Greenwood and regularly passes by our mailbox. He told us he looks forward to seeing what we have up each time he passes.

Thinking of his kind feedback makes me smile each time we put up another decoration!

 

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Happy New Year from Calvin, Hobbes, and the Lewises

We just put up our “Happy New Year” mailbox decoration. We made this Calvin & Hobbes design using our CNC machine and computer-guided torch to cut out the metal. My husband made and welded on the mounting bar, and then we marked both sides. I painted the sides using outdoor paint and then sprayed a protective layer of polyurethane to help it withstand the sun and weather as well as possible.

 

This is the back of the decoration. You can see the mounting bar clearly on this side.

Happy New Year!

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Santa is Coming to Town!

We put up this mailbox decorations this morning.

As far as we’re concerned, Santa came to our home December 10th, when we picked up our son at the airport to stay with us for three weeks.  We really don’t need anything more – just seeing our good friends. We are super lucky this year, having our son for his birthday AND Christmas before he leaves.  Right now he’s in the dining area, working on his computer. Just knowing I can get up and get a wonderful hug makes me smile.

 

I hope Santa is good to YOU this year, too.

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Mailbox Decoration for the First Half of December

My husband and I made this decoration last year to replace this smaller one made years before.  This is the back of the piece.

 

I liked this one okay, too, but it was really small compared to the new one, and I like the kids being on either side of the larger tree.

 

We went for Chinese take out last night, and I was happy to notice that the glitter on the star caught the light of our headlights and sparkled. :0)

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You Turkey! (Updated)

I told you yesterday that I would try to get pics of the turkey mailbox decoration showing the Googly eyes I added.

Back

 

Front

Happy Turkey Day!

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You Turkey!

We got the turkey put up on the mailbox, but I forgot to take my camera. Since we made this decoration, I added Googly Eyes, so the expression on the turkey is a bit different.

 

The next time we go out, I’ll try to remember to take my camera and get a current pic. In the meantime, BRRRRRR!

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November Mailbox Decoration

We just put up our ‘Swooping Eagle” mailbox decoration that will stay up until mid-November.

 

This is the back of the eagle. You can see where I tried to blend in the mounting bracket into the design.

We were out doing errands earlier and were really surprised that, since this morning, the wind is now coming from the north and blowing fairly strongly. It’s 50 out, but things are still really wet from the rain and the wind just blows through you. We were cold putting this up!

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