Category Archives: Lewis Mailbox Decorations

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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Snow-Goon Mailbox Decoration

We love Calvin & Hobbes. Bill Watterson created the idea of Snow-Goons, evil snowmen who wreaked all sorts of havoc.

This is the front of our Snow-Goon decoration. He is one of the largest of our decorations. The piece is about 4 feet high and 3-1/2 fee wide. This one was also more challenging because of the attached arms holding the head. We like the 3-D effect.

This is the back of the piece.  I tried to blend the attachment bar into the snowman.  We’re in the middle of having a cold front move through, dropping our temperatures and threatening freezing rain, etc., so this decoration seemed appropriate.

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

After catching up with our good friends at Lunch Bunch and doing errands, we’re enjoying being home in a warm, dry house.

I hope you’re having a happy day, too.

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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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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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