John Lopez is an artist in South Dakota who creates art from found things.
“Mr. Natural is a comic book character created and drawn by 1960s counterculture and underground comix artist Robert Crumb. ” ~ Wikipedia
Since my husband and I started creating decorations for our mailbox, we take turns on favorite characters to make. Mr. Natural is one of my husband’s favorite comic book characters.
We found the image on the net. My husband does his magic, transforming the image into computer code that our CNC computer-guided torch can read. We save the code to a thumb drive and take it out to the shop. The computer-guided torch cuts out the image from a 4′ x 8′ sheet of metal. We then make a mounting attachment for the mailbox and weld it onto the cut out piece. We use an overhead projector to mark the salient features on the metal, front and back. I then paint both sides of the piece using outdoor paint, and then protecting it from the elements with polyurethane spray.
This piece is about 2-1/2 feet tall and a bit wider.
We’ll change the decoration again on November 15th or 16th, depending on the weather.
It’s not raining yet, but severe storms are forecast for us this afternoon. We scooted out the door this morning to avoid the worst of it while we did our errands. It only sprinkled on us a bit. I’m hoping we just get a good bit of rain, rather than flying hairballs.
We put up a different mailbox decoration while we were out –
I added some Day-Glo orange paint to this one, so it shows up nicely when headlights hit it in the dark. :0) Because of Columbus Day yesterday, the mail is being delivered later than usual. We’ll check again after lunch sometime to see if we received anything.
I’m having a wonderful time playing in my art room, experimenting with the Unicorn Spit stain/glaze. I’m trying to use it on a wooden plaque we cut out years ago. I did the first layer yesterday. I’ll add a second layer today. I have no clue what I’m doing, but it’s exciting and fun.
Elliptical and yoga await later in the day. FIRST, I’ll play in my art room before I need to fix lunch. :0)
Have a glorious Tuesday!
“Pepé Le Pew is a character from the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons, first introduced in 1945. Depicted as a French striped skunk, Pepé is constantly in search of love and appreciation.” Penelope is a black cat who catches Pepe’s eye. She is constantly in a situation where paint falls on her, or something similar, so she has a white stripe down her back. Pepe is mad for her.
This was one of our favorite cartoons, so we delighted in making this decoration for our mailbox.
The decoration is about 2-1/2 feet high and about 2 feet wide at the widest point. We cut the design out using our CNC machine (computer guided torch) from sheet metal. We welded the piece onto an attachment section so we can bolt the design onto the pole of the mailbox. I then use an overhead projector to mark salient details and then paint both sides of the piece. The final step is spraying it front and back with polyurethane to protect it from the elements as much as possible.
Hoping this will bring a smile to YOU, plus people who drive by the bottom of our driveway.
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.
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
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.
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)
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
This is the Year of the Pig.
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)
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. 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.
In 1991, Taz got his own show Taz-Mania which ran for four seasons in which Taz was the main protagonist.”
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!
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!
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.
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)
I’m walking 3 inches (at least) off the ground this morning.
We received a delivery from Fedex this morning. The driver wasn’t our ‘normal’ driver, but a very nice young woman. She fended off Amber kindly when Amber was trying hard to greet her, wagging her tail, trying to knock her down, and trying to get into her truck at the same time. She reacted by laughing, immediately winning our feelings of relief and approval.
I got Amber and put her in the house while the lady got a huge box out of her truck. While my husband was wrestling with 60 lbs of dog food, the lady started to get back into her truck. She stopped, came back around and said something to the effect of, “I love all your artwork. I slowed the truck down so I could try to look at everything, waving at the two robots standing watch on either side of the garage door.
My spirits soared and I tried not to break my face as I grinned at her. I told her that she had made our day and thanked her.
We’re never sure what the reaction will be. Some people probably look at our stuff and shake their heads or wonder why anyone would clutter up their yard like we do. This lady particularly mentioned the robot and owls at the bottom of the driveway and the flying pig hanging from a tree midway up.
When someone is this nice, giving compliments on our stuff when there is no need (such as our saying, “Look what we made!” and then them trying to come up with something similar to, “Well, that’s a lot of stuff!” – it brings real joy.
A wonderful way to start a day!