Tag Archives: Lewis Mailbox decorations

New Month – New Mailbox Decoration

 

“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.

 

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Pepe Le Pew and Penelope

“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 skunkPepé 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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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