Category Archives: Lewis Mailbox Decorations

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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Halloween Mailbox Decoration

 

We got our pumpkin up on the mailbox when we went for errands this afternoon. This will stay up half the month and then we’ll put our ghost up for the 2nd half of October.

I hope that the kids who ride the buses in the morning get a kick out of our decorations.  They probably could use a boost, having to get up so early.

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End of Sept. Mailbox Decoration is Up

Even though our weather is still hot and muggy, it’s time (almost) to officially welcome the fall. I’ve been more than ready for quite a while now, so I was happy to call an official end to our summer, trying to put a bug in Mother Nature’s ear.

This decoration is about 3 feet high and 2-1/2 feet wide are the outstretched arms. It’s painted front and back after welding a support arm vertically up the back side for support, and then sprayed with a protective clear coating of polyurethane to help it withstand the sun and rain better.

We had a FEDEX delivery the other day from a person who has never delivered to us before. She was effusive in her praise of all the critters we’ve made. You can see part of the welcome robot and part of one of the owls on our gate post. She was laughing over the pig handing from a tree branch alongside the driveway. We think it’s definitely time pigs are flying, and of course, we put lipstick on our pig….  It really makes us happy when someone likes what we’ve done.

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Sonic and Friends Mailbox Decoration

We put up a different mailbox decoration this morning. This one has interaction between Wyle E. Coyote, Sonic the Hedgehog, and the Roadrunner.

We liked the look of the decoration, and we enjoyed the challenge of adding some 3-Dimensional to the design with the roadrunner’s legs, made from rod and welded together.

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Roadrunner

This is the front of our roadrunner mailbox decoration. He’s about two feet tall and 1-1/2 feet wide at the widest point.

 

This is the back of the piece. We had to put rods up vertically on his body and his tail to make the piece strong enough to handle gusty winds. I tried to blend in the rods into the painting as much as possible.

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Caterpillar

We took down Godzilla and put up the Hookah Smoking Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland on the way to town today.

 

We had a good time making this one because of the 3-D quality of the tube and metal fasteners to go from his hand to the pipe. Since school starts August 13th here (can you believe it?) this will be the first of our decorations the school bus kids will see. We hope they get a kick out of it.

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Godzilla

This is the back of the Godzilla mailbox decoration we put up on the way to do our errands this morning. He’s one of our favorite ‘characters.’ You can see how I tried to blend in his feet into the mounting piece.

 

We enjoy making these a lot. I’m not sure what we’ll make next, but we always have an eye out for something interesting to tackle. We’re now loving to add some 3-D effect of something else unusual.

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4th of July Mailbox Decoration at the Lewises

Snoopy and Woodstock Mailbox Decoration

My husband and I enjoyed making this patriotic decoration for Independence Day for our mailbox.  We hope that Snoopy and Woodstock will make people smile as they drive by or come up to see us.

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Popeye

We changed our mailbox decoration this morning, taking down the Tazmanian Devil and putting up Popeye.

We really love to make these decorations. We choose the designs together. My husband changes the image into code that our CNC computer-guided torch can understand and follow, cutting out the design from various thicknesses of sheet metal. My husband makes the piece that attaches the decoration to the mailbox with two bolts. He welds it on and smooths out any rough edges.

We wipe down all sides of the front and back with PRE, a spray that removes any oil on the metal and allows the paint to stick better. We then attach the metal piece to a holder in the shop and use a transparency we made and an overhead projector to allow me to mark the bare metal with a magic marker front and back with the design as much as possible. I then paint both sides of the piece and the attachment piece. Finally, the piece is sprayed on both sides with clear protective polyurethane so deterioration will be slowed.

This piece is tall (about 3 feet), so we added a rod vertically to the back before I painted, to keep gusty wind from bending the piece. I try to paint it so that any rods and the attachment piece blend into the design on the back as much as I can.

In the background of this picture, you can see our 6 foot tall robot holding our address sign welcoming visitors, and one of the two owls we have on either side of the driveway. They sit on top of the gate poles. Everyone’s eyes glow as car lights hit them at night. Farther up the driveway is a flying pig hanging down, a guard dog with a rifle, and various other pieces at the top. :0)

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Taz

“The Tasmanian Devil, commonly referred to as Taz, is an animated cartoon character featured in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunesand 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 Bedeviled Rabbit, when his wife addresses him as “Claude”.” – Wikipedia

Taz is one of our favorite cartoon characters, so when we decided to try to create metal decorations to attach to our mailbox, he was one of the first we came up with.  We hope he makes others smile, too, as they pass our driveway.

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“I’m A-Warning You, Stranger!”

We just finished getting our mail and changing our mailbox decoration from “Catbert” from Dilbert to “Yosemite Sam.” He’s one of our favorite cartoon characters from growing up. I can hear his voice warning people off before he blasts them. :0)

This decoration is cut out of sheet metal with our computer-guided CNC set up. My husband converted a drawing we found on the net into the code needed to talk to the computer. The program then directs the torch to cut out the design. We clean up the metal edges, weld it onto the bar that attaches it to the mailbox, and then use the overhead projector and a transparency from our printer to mark the metal so that I can paint the design on both sides. We then spray the finished decoration with clear protective spray to make the paint last as long as possible.

“I’m a-warning you, Stranger!!!!”

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Catbert Wisdom

“Catbert is a fictional cat, and the “evil director of human resources” in the Dilbert comic strip. He was supposed to be a one-time character but resonated with readers so well that Adams brought him back as the HR director.”

 

This is the back of the metal mailbox decoration we made. You can see where I tried to blend the support pieces into the design when I painted it.

 

 

 

 

 

I hope that others who pass our driveway also love the sarcasm and wit of Scott Adams, and enjoy the mailbox decoration we made.

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Calvin and Hobbes Mailbox Decoration

I think this is my favorite of the many mailbox decorations we’ve made. It makes me feel good when I see it. This is the back of the piece. you can see where I’ve tried to incorporate the mounting bar into the design.

Calvin and Hobbes is a daily comic strip by American cartoonist Bill Watterson that was syndicated from November 18, 1985 to December 31, 1995.

 

This is the front. The piece is about 2-1/2 feet tall and about the same wide – 3 feet + with the mounting bar and tail. We grabbed the design from the net. My husband translated the picture into code that the computer-guided torch on our CNC table can understand and cut out. We used a transparency and overhead projector to mark the bare metal for painting. I then painted both sides and then sprayed a clear protective spray on it. I hope this decoration gives people a warm feeling as they drive by our home.

 

Calvin and Hobbes by Sarah, Quotesgram.com

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It’s Coming Together Now

The mailbox decoration comes from an image we found on the net. My husband did his magic, writing code so that the computer recognizes the drawing and can replicate it. We cut it out with the computer-guided torch on the CNC table in the shop.  The above is what the decoration looks like when we separate the cut part from the sheet of metal on the table.

My husband makes apiece that will allow us to bolt the decoration onto the mailbox and welds the two together.

We then attach the piece to a ‘holder’ so that we can use a transparency of the design and sharpies to mark the metal with the inner design so that I can paint it.

This is what the decoration looks like when it’s ready for me to paint. You can see where the attachment bar is welded onto the design across the bottom. I paint the back of the piece first so that I can work out any problems. The picture above is actually the front of the design. I finished painting the back a couple of days ago. I turned it over yesterday and “color blocked” the front. (I say “color blocked” because it looks really bad when I do the first coat. I’m mainly just marking where each color goes. The paint doesn’t stick well or show up well on the bare metal. On the first decoration we did, I almost gave up at this point because it looked so awful. Thank goodness I discovered that this is the way it is when one paints on metal.

This is the back of the piece I finished yesterday. I’ll work on the second coat on the front today, and then probably finish it up tomorrow.

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Working on the New Mailbox Decoration

Kurt Vonnegut via CrafterHours via Cathy Ruggiero

I’m taking this quote to heart as I work in the shop on the new mailbox decoration for December.

This is the decoration we THOUGHT we had already made, but hadn’t. We went out to the shop at the beginning of the month last December, only to NOT find the decoration! This is along the same line as being able to hide our own Easter eggs…..

I almost have the back of the piece finished. I have some accents to add and then when it’s dry, I’ll turn it over and start on the front. I’ll take a picture before I begin painting the front so you see what is done to ‘mark a piece’ using the overhead projector.

Right now the weather is really nice here, with bright sunshine. This won’t last, though, as the forecast is, “Saturday:  Showers and storms will arrive mainly after sunset lasting until midnight.” This is bringing a strong cold front that may bring sleet and snow to NW Arkansas tomorrow, but will just bring US a cold, wet, Easter morning with temperatures decreasing during the day….

I hope you’re having a wonderful Saturday.

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New Christmas Mailbox Decoration in the Works

 

 

We found this cute drawing on the net and decided to use our CNC setup in the shop to cut it out for a mailbox decoration next December.  My husband did his magic, generating the G-code the computer uses to guide the torch on the cutting table to cut out the design from a sheet of metal. The piece is about three feet wide and about 2-1/2 feet tall.

 

We used an overhead project and a color transparency to mark the piece. I’m starting to paint it now. I’m doing the back side of the piece first to work out any problems. The first code I call ‘color blocking’ because the first coat on metal is so awful that it only serves to mark the areas as particular colors. The second coat enables you to finally see the design well and then put accents on.

I did the first coat on the back side yesterday. Today I’ll try to do the second coat. I’ll take some progress pictures and post them.

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Happy Saturday

Trendzified

Good morning!

I’m feeling happy and grateful this morning.

We’re having a nice weekend weather-wise here in Greenwood, Arkansas. The highs will be in the 70’s and no rain until tomorrow evening (although it LOOKS like it could rain today). Because rain is forecast for every day from Sunday evening through Thursday next week, I’m trying to get as much accomplished in the yard as possible. Yesterday I planted tomato plants in one of the brick planters beside the house. The wind was gusting so hard I began to wonder if I was going to be able to plant!  I did finish, though, and will check on the plants again this morning.

_______________________

Things got busy around here, so an hour or so has passed.

The doggies demanded I take them out, so we walked all over the yard. We saw the veggie garden with its automatic watering –

 

 

 

 

we checked on the new tomato plants –

 

we took pictures, and played a bit while enjoying the really nice morning.

Just a few minutes ago my husband suggested we drive down to see if the mail had been delivered. We also took the “Rabbit and Easter Egg” mailbox decoration when we went, exchanging it for the leprechaun for St. Pat’s Day.

We drove down to the church at the end of the street to turn the truck around and met our good friend Carla, who was walking her two doggies, Nikki and Rubie. Thank goodness I still had a couple of dog treats in my pocket so we could greet them properly. (Carla said she didn’t care for one.) :0)

Today’s big project is filling the wheelbarrow with top soil and trying to fill up all the holes (or as many as I can find) that the moles, voles, and other ‘ole’s’ underneath the surface caused our doggies to dig to try to get them. We only actually saw one ‘victory’ so far. We’re not sure WHO got the ‘critter’ we found, but SOMEONE had given it a very hard time.  Anyway, between the underworld critters and ours, the yard almost looks like something from a bad horror movie. I’ll try to get them filled so that the rain can make the soil sink down and stay put, and then maybe we can mow without falling into a hole or twisting an ankle.

I hope your morning has been a fun one!

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Latest Mailbox Decoration Progress

In December last year, we discovered that my husband and I shared a ‘senior moment,’ with both of us thinking we had created a new mailbox decoration for the Christmas season. We looked in the hanging bar where we keep all of our mailbox decorations, but it wasn’t there. We looked laboriously all over the shop, thinking maybe we had started it, but hadn’t finished it. Nope. Nada.

After finally admitting we were definitely losing it, we started over. My husband used the reference picture we got from the net and generated the computer code that tells the torch what to cut.

Yesterday afternoon he made the piece we use to attach the piece to the mailbox and got it welded to this. We attached the piece to our stand with a huge clamp, then used the overhead projector to mark the piece on both sides. It is now ready for me to paint.

I always start with the back, making decisions and working out any problems there before I turn it over and paint the front. I’ll post progress pics as the piece is painted.

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St. Pat’s Mailbox Decoration Up This Morning

When we first started making metal decorations to attach to our mailbox, we used to have to manually cut the designs out using a welding torch and then spend a LOT of time smoothing all the edges, front and back, before even thinking of painting it. It was the best we could do at the time and some decoration is certainly more fun than none.

When we got the CNC set up, where my husband could convert a drawing we found on the net to a code the computer could understand and replicate, cutting it out of sheet metal, we upped our game and a wonderful new adventure began! We have so much fun making these. We now have too many to display each year! We change our decoration twice a month, and then we try to display as many of the other designs we’ve made that are unrelated to a certain holiday as possible.

Now my husband looks for designs that allow us to display something 3-dimensional to take it out of the more ordinary designs. Such a fun way to spend time together – scheming on what to make, how we’re going to make it, cutting it out, marking it, and painting it – and then, finally putting it up on the mailbox, hoping that others will smile as they pass. :0)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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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 focuses on Fritz, a feline con artist who frequently goes on wild adventures that sometimes involve sexual escapades. Crumb began drawing this character in homemade comic books when he was a child. Fritz became one of his most famous characters, thanks largely to the motion picture adaptation by Ralph Bakshi. ~ Wikipedia.

Of course, this is one of my husband’s favorite comic book characters. This was a difficult piece to paint, since the picture from which we were working was all done in tiny dots. This is one of our larger pieces, and it is HEAVY.

The picture above is the back of the piece. I had quite a time trying to blend the vertical support into the design.

 

This is the front. It shows up pretty well down the road.

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Snow-Goon Mailbox Decoration

We love Calvin & Hobbes. One of our favorite parts of the series was the killer Snow-Goons. Today it’s 77 outside, but tonight a cold front is coming through, so we may get our chance to build one of our OWN Snow Goons before the winter is over. This is the back of the piece, where I try to blend in the attachment support into the design.

 

I love the way my husband was able to weld ‘arms’ on and make the piece 3-dimensional, with the Snow Goon holding its head.

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Slug

saga

I’ve been a slug today. I guess I wore myself out yesterday, feeling 110+ years old when I woke up today, joints creaking, muscles aching. We did errands, but that was it for the day. I had a nice nap under my throw in my recliner this afternoon.

One thing I forgot to tell you that I did yesterday was finish the repainting of the Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin mailbox decoration for October.

I don’t think he’ll glow in the dark, but he’s the very brightest orange I could find, and I think he’ll light up well when headlights shine on him.

 

He looked okay on the mailbox last October, but I was hoping for a Day-Glo type look, if not glowing in the dark. I used a paint called, Neon Orange. The only actual glow-in-the-dark paint I could find was in a spray can, which I couldn’t use on the piece.

 

This is the front.

 

And this is the back. We hung him up on the proper hook in the shop, waiting for next October.

Next, I’ll be doing a refurbishing on our ‘box turtle’ who has an eye falling off and paint pealing off his ‘shell.’

We’re on the edge of the map as to whether we’ll get a wintry mix this evening into tomorrow morning. We’re thankful to have a warm, dry home with our animals close around us.

I hope you’ve had a happy day, too.

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Refurb Projects Progress/Plans

I finished the front side of the Jack-O-Lantern mailbox decoration. As soon as it dries, I’ll turn it over and work on brightening up the back.

 

This is a “box turtle” we made from metal scraps. As you can see, being outside in the weather has taken its toll on the poor guy. He’ll be my next project.

 

The top of his ‘shell’ has peeled off in several places.

 

His face looks like he was in a fight and lost.

 

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Project Glitch

motherboard

Recently I told you that my husband had two projects going on simultaneously – building a welding lathe in the shop and building a new computer for me.

Yesterday we got the CPU finally and he put that and the fan that goes with it into the computer and turned it on. It wouldn’t boot despite everything he knew how to do. After the New Egg people (from whom he bought the computer parts STILL didn’t call as they said they would, he called ASUS, the maker of the motherboard, since he suspects that this is the reason the computer isn’t booting. After a long talk with them, they said to send the motherboard to them and they would look at it.

We now have the motherboard packed up and ready for UPS to pick up Monday. We’re hoping they’ll send us another one quickly, or fix this one and send it back. There is nothing more that can be done until we get one that works, so the project is on hold now.

He moved all the parts off my work area, thank goodness, so I’m functional at my computer again without having a lot of problems finding stuff or moving around a bit, checking my calendar, etc.

He’ll switch projects now. The power supply for the step motor for the welding lathe arrived today, so he’s waiting for the heat to work in the shop and will probably spend the rest of the afternoon out there.

I’m planning to put a coat of orange on the jack-o-lantern mailbox decoration I’m repainting, and then I’ll go back up and work on figuring out what to do with all the ‘stuff’ I took out of the guest room closet….

I hope you’re having a fun day.

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Cupid

We put up Cupid with the Valentine on the mailbox yesterday. This is a closeup.

 

This is the back. You can see where I tried to blend the support hanger into the design.

 

This is the front. We hope people smile as they either drive past our driveway or come up and see us!

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Current Projects Update

(1) My husband put a HEAVY piece of 1/4″ thick metal on the CNC table yesterday. He loaded the code he wrote to talk to the computer that guides the torch. He was able to cut out the rounded triangular piece with the holes in it that you see in the model picture just below the horizontal tubing above. He had to turn the speed of the cutting down to crawl because the metal was so thick, but he was able to do it! There is no way in the world he would have been able to cut the piece out by hand and cut the holes to specifications if we didn’t have the CNC machine and my husband’s expertise. Hooray!  I think he’s going to work on the horizontal tube next. I’ll post pics as he starts putting the tool together.

(2)  We cut out the new Christmas mailbox decoration yesterday before my husband did the heavy metal cutting. (He DID have some ‘heavy metal’ playing on the speakers while he was doing it :0) )

Here’s the picture from which we are working.

First, my husband created the code needed that tells the torch needs to cut to create the design we would like. The computer-guided torch then cuts the design out while we watch. This is the cut out metal design. We’ll get the rough spots off the back and then my husband will make the part that attaches it to the mailbox and he’ll weld the two together. Then we’ll mark the piece using a transparency printed on our printer and an overhead projector. I’ll show you pics as the work progresses. I’ve stored this in my painting area for the moment, because it won’t be needed until the end of the year. I’m working on the pumpkin mailbox decoration you can see on my painting table in the background, trying to pump up the orange color. I would LIKE for it to glow in the dark when car lights hit it…

(3) Our third project started yesterday was the complete emptying and cleaning out of our front hall closet – made unusable due to our stashing of ‘stuff.’ My goal was to put things that should be elsewhere in their proper place, see if there was anything we wanted to donate to the Veterans Thrift Shop, throw stuff away, and reorganize what was left, putting it in a clean closet. That project is FINISHED!

This is the closet when I started.

 

This is the cleaned out closet.

 

 

 

We now can use the closet as a front hall closet – hanging up visitors’ coats.

We have a bin in the basement where we store extra out of season coats, vests, etc., so we moved what we didn’t need now down there until the spring. We now have two large leaf bags of nice winter things for the people who shop at the Veteran’s Thrift Shop, plus some exercise stuff that was redundant to the equipment I’m using, or not being used enough to keep.  We want to add to the donation bags a bit more before we make the trip to Fort Smith, but should do that by the first week in February, at the latest.  Another area checked off!

TODAY’S PROJECT:

I have a set of nice, big shelves on my side of the bedroom, plus an even larger set in the guest room. I’ve been going through both, but at a very slow pace. I’m going to try to get both sets of shelves so that I can find and reach the books on the shelves, getting rid of a bunch in the process. A lot of moving, hauling, shelving and cleaning ahead – my exercise for this wonderful rainy day!

 

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Friday’s Projects – Thing One and Thing Two

THING ONE:

We’ll use our CNC table and computer set-up to cut out this metal design for the mailbox. It’ll be about 2 feet high and 2-1/2 feet or so wide. (My husband converted the image we found on the net to computer code.)  We’re doing this today because my husband wants to work on a part for the welding lathe he’s building. We have about half a sheet of metal on the table currently, so cutting out this design serves two purposes – a start to the mailbox decoration AND being able to clean off the table and put the really heavy metal for the welder part on it.

 

THING TWO:

Front Hall Closet Clean-out

This is a closet used for stashing. We hardly ever use it, otherwise, because people come into the house from the garage, rather than the front door. I’m going to change that, making it a closet where we can actually hang guests’ coats! (What a concept!) :0)

 

It’s embarrassing to post these pictures, but you already knew I was a slob. I hate housekeeping, second only to bookkeeping, taxes, and other legal stuff. I’m determined to go through my house, one area at a time, and take everything out, go through it to decide whether we want to keep it, donate it, or pitch it. If we’re keeping it, I’ll decide where it needs to live. A lot of this stuff should probably be elsewhere. I’ll clean the closet thoroughly and then reorganize what we’re keeping.

 

Here is a close up of the top of the closet.

 

And a close up of the bottom.

I don’t know how long this will take. I’ll put everything I take out onto our couch. That will give me the motivation to keep going until all of it has been sorted. I’ll post pics when the project is finished.

First, we enjoy our good friends at Lunch Bunch. We’ll do a few errands while we’re out. We’ll take care of animals when we get back, cut out the mailbox decoration, get the metal sheet remaining off the CNC table, and then I’ll begin.

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Cheshire Cat

We put this up this morning.  I forgot to take my camera (surprise!) and so I’m posting pics from the last time we put it up, when things were green and the weather was deliciously warm. Today it’s 30, but sunny. Tonight we’re supposed to get a wintry mix and tomorrow the low will be 14 and the high 21….

 

We needed something happy to take our minds off another possibility of ice. The Cheshire Cat is just the ticket. :0)

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