Tag Archives: Lewis yard art

3-Star Day

zuhg Cw

I did my yoga practice to earn one star, then my husband and I took off the fragile tarps and bungee cords from the garden planters and replaced them with new tarps and cords. We also put new tarps on the cement mixer we use to mix our Mel’s Mix for the garden planters and the pile of potting soil bags we keep to replenish the brick planters around the house. With temperatures in the 60s and bright sunshine, it was the perfect day to do it – earning a second star. The third was for the scales smiling a bit at me yesterday.

We have another stellar weather day today before things deteriorate tomorrow and into the coming week. I’ll make sure to get outside and walk around the yard this afternoon to show my appreciation for the day.


I actually just came in from walking around the yard and taking a few pics to share. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to spring. As we uncovered the planters before covering them up again yesterday, I wished I could start playing in the dirt.

Here are our raised-bed square foot planter boxes. I was pleased to see only a few weeds in the Mel’s Mix of the planters. They’ll be ready to plant when the time comes. I’m having trouble waiting. :0)
These are the trash cans that hold all the ingredients of Mel’s Mix for my garden: peat moss, Vermiculite, and three different kinds of compost. You can also see a tarp over our used cement mixer. I throw all the ingredients as I measure them into the mixer, then mix and pour the contents into containers to haul over to the planter boxes to fill them up. The mixer does a great job and saves a lot of effort and time.

I also took some pics on the way back to the house from the shop and garden –

Some of our “emu” planters waiting for me to fill them up with potting soil and plant some flowers.
I’ll have to clean out this planter, but I’ll plant some colorful flowers around the feet of our ‘peacock.’
This is on one side of the top of our driveway. We have a sign in the tree saying, “Trespassers will be composted.” Our ‘watermelon’ propane tank is in the background toward the top of the picture. You can see colorful pieces of the peacock and one of the emus at the top on the right, plus our ‘crow’ shovel bird on the right, standing on the boulder.
Our “turkey” helps a ‘guard dog’ with a rifle stand guard on the opposite side of the driveway.
shovel bird that doubles as a bird feeder in one of the trio planters that are between our driveway and the front yard.

I love wandering around the yard. I had to stop myself from spending time weeding and getting ready for spring, since I wasn’t wearing a jacket and it was in the 40s out there now. I’m still hoping the weather people have it wrong and we won’t get ice Wednesday and Thursday….

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Thanksgiving 2021


It’s just the two of us this year. It’s 36 degrees, gray, and rainy here. Great time to enjoy being warm and dry indoors. We’ll have a quiet day (hopefully), I’ll cook our turkey breast, stuffing, slice cranberry sauce and make deviled eggs for this evening.

I’m thankful this morning that our son left a message on the chat program, wishing us a happy day. I found a wonderful performance of a man playing two guitars at once masterfully and sent it to him yesterday. Maybe you would enjoy it, too. The musician’s name is Luca Stricagnoli.

If this doesn’t provide a way to listen, here is the URL – https://amazingpandph.com/coolest-song-cover/
This is the turkey who stands beside a tree at the top of our driveway.

Have a wonderful celebration!


Filed under holidays, Lewis yard art, music

Clean Teeth and a Robot

We are back from our trip to Ft. Smith for our dental cleaning. We are still alive, with clean teeth, a good report, and I didn’t bite anyone – a good thing because, although I’ve had my Covid shots and a booster, I have NOT had a rabies shot. :0)

As we left, I took a pic of the refurbished greeter robot at the bottom of our driveway. No green. No rust.

As I type, we have not had the predicted thunderstorm, though it looks darker and darker outside and looks like the rain could come any time. Until then, we’re enjoying having our doors open to welcome a truly wonderful breeze.

I’m going to enjoy some time with a good book and a cup of coffee now.

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Perfect Afternoon!


We have finished our errands for the day. We will have some lunch and relax a bit, and then I’ll head down to the bottom of our driveway in the truck with the supplies needed to refurbish the greeter robot.

I was surprised to see how well the mold/mildew/elephant remover spray worked. I hosed him down twice and the green disappeared! Now the sweet robot is showing his rust. :0)

He is basically black and white, but there is a lot of masking to do so that I can see if I can use the spray can of white I bought. I’m hopeful that I can. This would make his refurbishment a lot easier. I have a can of hiding white and a brush, otherwise. I hope to do this all this afternoon, as we are scheduled for a cold front tomorrow afternoon with colder temperatures and rain.

Mother Nature is smiling on us today, though, so I’ll try to take full advantage of that.

Have a terrific Tuesday!

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Michelle Loving

Isn’t this little guy cute?!

I drove to the bottom of our driveway yesterday afternoon and started another refurbishment project on one of our yard critters. This will be a multi-process refurb –

  • He’s outside and as far away from supplies as possible while still being on our property
  • He weighs about 150 pounds and is chained to a tree.
  • He is almost buried in branches and weeds
  • He is covered with algae/mold/fungus/mystery.

I’ve been putting it off for quite awhile, but since our weather is finally cooling off, I decided to tackle it.

I took some branch loppers (large and small) and used both to try to cut back all the ‘greenery’ around the robot so that he is no longer buried. Here are some pictures of the sweet “Greeter Robot” (before refurbishment) –

The weather really does a number on our critters and this is no exception. Now that I have the greenery cut back around him, I’m going to try to find the spray container of algae/whatever spray I bought and start hosing him down and see if that does any good.

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Our “Peacock” is Preening Again

When we got home from errands this morning, I brought the finished “peacock” out to his place in the yard.

This was a pain to re-paint, due to how wide and unwieldy he is. There are lots of angles that hide from you as you paint, and he doesn’t want to ‘sit’ quietly, making it easier to work on him. He also had lost most of his beads, so those had to be replaced.

He used to be high up on the tower above where we put the “Belly Vested Whapadoo,” –

but I thought he could enjoy a new view.

There are some other, smaller pieces we’ll have to take down from the side of the house, and some larger ones, like the robot at the end of the driveway, but we’re due for summer to come roaring back, so I’m going to take a bit of a break.

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Beginning of a New Week 8-2-2021


I’ve been using a new face cream. What do you think?

We just got back from doing errands and I’ll fix our lunch in a minute.

The scales are finally beginning to notice my efforts to lose the lard more. I’ve lost 2 pounds in the past 2 days. Re-losing – so no confetti thrown until I’m in new territory.

The new addition to my exercise regimen starts this week, too.

  • Monday – yoga stretching plus exercises with weights
  • Tuesday – yoga stretching plus 15-30 minutes on the elliptical trainer.
  • Wednesday – yoga stretching plus exercises with weights
  • Thursday – yoga stretching plus 15-30 minutes on the elliptical trainer
  • Friday – yoga stretching plus exercises with weights
  • Saturday – yoga stretching plus 15-30 minutes on the elliptical trainer
  • Sunday – yoga stretching

Yesterday I cleaned and started re-painting the “peacock” yard art critter in our shop. The biggest part of the refurb project on this one is gluing new beads on the ‘feathers’ and around his neck. I’ll show you when he goes back outside.

Yesterday I also cleaned off my drafting table in my art room. I gathered my supplies for my “acrylic pour” experimentation. I also watched several YouTube videos on various techniques several really talented people are using. Today I bought some Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to add to my supplies. I will find a heat gun or grab my hair dryer. Later this afternoon I hope to gather my intimidation and throw it in the trash.

I hope that you’re having a great day, too.

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Filed under DIET!, exercise, learning new things, Lewis Art, Lewis projects, Lewis yard art, Thoughts on a ________


Our mailbox decoration represents a return to our ‘normal” summer in Arkansas, rather than the cooler, rain-filled summer we’ve had this year. We’ve gotten quite spoiled, not fearing heat stroke as we mow, weedwhack, tend our flowers and square foot garden veggies.

All that ended about a week ago now. The rain stopped, the sun came out with a vengeance, raising our actual temperatures to 100 or more in the afternoons, and the heat index to surge even higher. UGH.

The only thing left in the garden now is sweet onions, weeds, and our two planters of tomatoes.

My husband managed to get the civilized part of our yard mowed, mowing right before dark one evening and then first thing in the morning the next day. I followed that with weed whacking right before dark night before last, and then finished it up last night and blew the debris off our sidewalks and driveway pad with our leaf blower. I was planning to use our push weedwhacker this morning in the area behind our shop and beside our garden, but we talked about it and decided I would really be risking heat stroke. I walk outside, with my headband on, and I’m instantly wringing wet. I think we will only do what is absolutely necessary until this “Punishment from Mother Nature” passes. We might even wait until fall…

I WILL pull the sweet onions and start drying them soon. I don’t know how much longer the tomatoes will make. Even with our irrigation system, the tomatoes are almost boiling on the vines. Happily, my elephant ear plants and phlox or doing well, even with the heat. I’ll try to get out and get pics for you.

When I get out there early enough, I’m still working on the refurbishment project of of our yard critters. Right now I’m repainting “Mama and Baby Snail.” I post a pic when they’re ready to go back outside.

Every summer I regret the fact that we ran out of money when we were building our home over 30 years ago. We managed the main house and the small shop, but we had to give up my dream of a pool. I taught swimming every summer from age 14 through college to help pay for my education. We live on top of ridge line, and had to dynamite several times to be able to have our basement, septic system, and the pool. We got the first two, but not the third. Every summer I dream of a beautiful in-ground pool. Of course, I also dream of Sven, the gorgeous pool man, coming to take care of it – and me. (If I’m going to dream, I’ll include it all… :0) )

I hope summer is being kind to you.

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Filed under Gardening, Lewis projects, Lewis yard art, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Thoughts on a Monday 7-26-2021


Isn’t this bird wonderful? I want to try to cheer him up.

We are having a quiet day so far today, and I am grateful.

Summer is definitely here now with an afternoon actual temperature of 96 and a heat index at 100+. Little or no rain in the forecast until further notice. UGH


The wonderful news is that my husband got the repaired part back in the Corvette yesterday and the vehicle is now sitting in our garage! WOO HOOOOO! After paying the service department at the Chevrolet place in Ft. Smith $85.00 to look at it and tell us the part we needed had been discontinued, we spent $10 for a tool. We didn’t need to buy the replacement part we found on the net – though it was good to know we could have. My husband got the part out, pried the top off the ‘module,’ soldered 4 wires, put it back in the car to test it, and IT WORKED. He took it back out, sealed the top back on, put it back in again (able to get 5 of the 6 screws in) and all the warning lights disappeared.

We were going to take it out for a test run, but he’s going to call the shots on that. He is really sore – particularly the rib muscles on his left side – from lying on the car, stretched as far as he could to reach and fight with recalcitrant parts for HOURS over a three-day period. He has bruises bungs, gouges and scrapes over the backs of both hands and one arm. I’m trying to get him to rest as much as possible over the next several days.

Popular Mechanics

Since he’s like the Energizer Bunny, even when he’s hurting, he got out right before dark and used the riding mower to mow the back yard. Then it was too dark for him to see. He’ll probably finish the yard today, but I’m HOPING he’ll wait until right before dark again. I’ll get out and do the weed whacking today.

The “refurbishing-of-the-critters” project is ongoing. I’ve cleaned and repainted 12 yard critters so far, and am currently repainting a pair of critters we call “Mama Snail and Her Baby” in the shop. I should finish those in the next day or two and will post a picture. The next larger critter is a “peacock” I’ll start after that.

I’m considering shaving Amber, our 95-pound yellow lab. Yesterday I vacuumed the tiled area on our first floor (utility room, dining area, kitchen, pantry, and two half-baths) and easily got an entire dog’s worth of hair in the vacuum canister. I’m due to vacuum the carpeted areas today (foyer, office, and living room) and will probably get another complete dog’s worth. Her hair, as you can see, is short. It amazes me that she can shed that much and still be covered with the normal complement of hair!

It is SO hot here now, that it doesn’t matter that we have an irrigation system on our raised bed, square foot garden. The only thing doing well out there right now is our onions. This has been a really weird growing season. We still have our planters of tomatoes. They aren’t pretty this year, but they are really delicious. I’m going to start trying to pull the onions, spreading them out to dry on a trailer we have with a grilled bed on it, perfect for lots of drainage. I’ll then clean out the garden bit by bit, trying to work in the morning or just before dark to avoid a heat stroke. :0) Right now it looks like no one cares about it. I’ll take pics when it’s more under control.

Happy day to you!

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Laugh and Hug


I’m giving myself a hug and smiling right now. I just had two sales (one yesterday and the second this morning) from my HandmadeHavenbyLinda Etsy website! A really nice start to the day and a spirit-lifter, for sure. :0)

I’ve been having fun in our shop, refurbishing 4 “emu” planters this past week. I need to paint their legs, and then they can go back outside when they are dry.

I’m feeling very motivated on my weight loss and exercising goals. I’ll do two sessions with weights today – one with 5-pound weights, and a second with 3-pound weights, where I follow a short video online. Then I’ll do my regular session of yoga stretching and abdominal exercises later today. I’m trying to drink FOUR bottles of water daily (trying to ignore the fact that my eyeballs are floating as I get more movement in) – running to the bathroom. I’m eating some raw veggies and a bit of dip mid afternoon as a snack. Keepin’ on keepin’ on. (So far. 30.2 pounds down and 26.2 inches off).

I’m finding lots of wonderfully creative people on the net who have created artwork that makes my mouth water. I’m so grateful I live on the same planet and can enjoy their work and share it with you.

Have a wonderful Monday.


Filed under DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, HandmadeHavenByLinda on Etsy, Lewis Art, Lewis projects, Lewis yard art

“Emu” Refurbishing Project

If you look carefully here, you can see 4 “emu” planters. (We actually have 2 more on our deck, but that will be a different project.) We have faux terra cotta flower pots that fit in the circle parts of the birds.

There is a combination of dirt, mold and ‘whatever all over them. It will take quite a bit of cleaning before I can even THINK of starting to repaint them.

There are detachable heads, necks, and then the legs come off the circular part that holds the pots. The wings and tail feathers are welded onto the circles. Googly eyes are glued onto the heads. Some of them have plain ‘head feathers,’ and others have beads glued onto them.

You can turn the heads so they “pose”. Usually we turn them so they all look toward the driveway – all looking at whoever is driving up to see us.

It will probably take several days to clean them. I’ll take pics of them when they are back in place beside the driveway.

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Sassy “Belly Vested Whapadoo”

This “refurbishment” (Is that a word?) took a lot of time and effort.

While I was cleaning him, his head fell off! My husband welded it back on, but that added to the difficulty of trying to refurbish him, with huge black ‘burns’ around his neck.

I managed to clean that up, as you can see here, and then I put styrofoam stuff in a gap between the two layers of his ‘neck” to discourage wasps from nesting in there. Finally, I added a bandana.

We used to have him wired to a tree. We moved him to this spot, putting his tail feather between the spokes of the tower. This should hold him nicely.

I’m glad to see him with his ‘sass” back.

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“Cleaning Robot” Feels Better Now

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Refurbishing Progress

Our “cleaning robot” is finished and ready to be put back in place. We will do that later and I’ll take pics for share with you.

Meanwhile, I’m now working on TWO pieces simultaneously.

We call this the “Belly Vested Whapadoo”

As you can see, he needs a lot of work. My husband came out to give me moral support. He steadied the ‘bird’ as I started the cleaning. All of a sudden, his HEAD fell off!

While my husband reattached the head, I switched to another piece. It was a smaller “shovel bird” that we use as a bird feeder in the front flower planters. We also drilled some holes in the shovel for better drainage.

I got about half of the shovel bird piece painted yesterday. I’ll finish that today, and then get started again on cleaning the Whapadoo.

Pics of the “Cleaning Robot” to follow.

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The Turkey Lives!

Our turkey was just really dirty with all the paint fading or completely gone. I forgot to take a “before” pic before I started cleaning him up. I put him back in his spot beside the driveway last night.

My husband wants to change where the turkey lives, and I have no problem with that. He’ll probably move it today while I work on another critter.

It’ll be interesting to see where my husband decides he should live.

I’m leaving for Lunch Bunch in about an hour, looking forward to celebrating my friend’s birthday today, and hopefully it won’t be TOO hot to choose another critter, take a pic or two, and get started with the cleaning.

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“Farmer Robot” Is Refurbed


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No Good Reason


We did our errands and I went out to the shop to work on the Farmer Robot.

I replaced his ‘hands,’ having found an old pair of work gloves. I stuffed the fingers with plastic peanuts and the palm of the hands with plastic bags. I drilled a hole in one side of the gloves so I could screw them onto the arms – having learned the hard way that if you don’t do that, the hands ‘disappear.’ I then wrapped some duct tape around the bottom of the gloves – also having learned the hard way – that if you don’t, wasps make nests in the gloves.

I laid him on his back in order to be able to glue new eyes in and have them stay on, instead of falling off before they are dry. When I eased him down onto his back, water came streaming out! Apparently he filled with water during all the heavy rains we’ve been having. I left him on his back and finished painting the lower part of his overalls and legs.

Later today I’ll turn him over, seeing if more water comes out, and also so I can paint the lower part of his back and legs. When I stand him up again, I’ll use duct tape around his neck to keep as much water out as possible, then tie the bandana back on.

My husband will use our truck dolly to give him a ride from the shop to his spot on the right side of our driveway pad against the house. When he is back where he lives, we’ll take pics to show you.

I’ve almost finished the 2nd piece in our metal critters refurbishing project. There are 8 more in the shop, with more to come.


,I think I told you that we got fiber optic Internet and TV when we finally got the opportunity recently. We’re very happy with the Internet. There is much less lag time than there used to be. The TV, however, is VERY upset when the system goes off, in a sudden power outage, for example. It takes forever (seemingly) to get to the point where it is up enough that our remotes again work. We decided to get a UPS that will live in the entertainment center with the TV plugged into it. Our power outages are of very short duration. We have a generator that comes on when the public power is out. It switches on by itself when it detects the public power is off for a certain amount of time. It switches off again when it senses we have public power back. A couple of mornings ago, our power went off and on several times in succession. I thought we would never get the TV back again.

The UPS we ordered came this afternoon and my husband hooked it up awhile ago. Now we’re waiting for the TV to resurrect itself and be able to watch TV again. Fingers are crossed that we have this small irritation solved now.


I find it almost impossible to believe what a gorgeous day we’re having. It is normally in the mid to high 90s with a heat index in the triple digits. Right now it’s sunny and 78 degrees F. with a light breeze. Stunningly beautiful!

I hope you’re enjoying your day, too. :0)

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Lewis Art, Lewis projects, Lewis yard art, Mother Nature, Thoughts on a ________

Poor Little Guy

This poor little guy we call the “Farmer Robot.” He stands to one side of our garage door, keeping watch on the yard and our garden. As you can see, he needs quite a bit of refurbishing.

I started work on him yesterday. I scraped the peeling paint, removed the farming gloves and bandana, and generally cleaned him up as much as possible.

I’ll get him some new work gloves, stuffing them with plastic bags to give them some shape. I’ll replace his bandana, and his eyes.

I got a first coat of fresh paint on him yesterday and will continue the work today. I hope I can make him look reasonable again.

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Our Box Turtle Has New Life

I finished the box turtle and put him out in the rock garden again. I cleaned him thoroughly, replaced his eyes, freshened the paint, and sprayed him with polyurethane to protect him as much as possible.

I started another critter this morning. We call him the “Farmer Robot.” I’ll show you pics of the sad shape he’s in tomorrow.

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Thoughts on a Sunday 6-6-2021


Our weather can’t decide if it wants to rain or let the sun come out. When we awoke this morning, it had rained very recently. Now the sun is peaking out a bit. We’re due for scattered showers from now through Tuesday, at least. We’re starting to get used to trying to get things done between storms…

THANK YOU to the people who have looked at my new site on Etsy HandmadeHavenByLinda and have written to make suggestions. Fresh eyes and new ideas are priceless. I appreciate your help. :0)

I’m gearing up to

  1. finish clearing off the last of the greenhouse. We have one long, heavy 4×4 remaining. My husband has been carrying one at a time out to the shop to remove whatever is still attached and save the wood for another project. With the price of lumber now, this is a thing for us. Also remaining out there is the black plastic we put down on the cleared space that was supposed to keep weeds from growing inside the greenhouse. This had limited success, and was also invaded by fire ants. I will go out armed with Eight Bug Killer and will carefully try to gather up the plastic. And finally, I’ll use the weed whacker to neaten up where things had grown up.
  2. It’s time to refurbish the metal critters we have created over the years that are all around our yard. We are taking them out to the shop, where I will clean, repaint, replace parts, etc. before we put them out again. The sun and rain and whatever are hard on things, so it will take a bit of effort to restore them to their former ‘glory.’ First up is our “Box Turtle” –
This is the way he is supposed to look. Right now he’s VERY dirty. Some of his paint is peeling, and at least one of his eyes has fallen off. I’ll try to take pics as I go to share with you.

Have a fun Sunday!

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Active Morning

National Geographic

We caught the second member of the raccoon family overnight that not only cleans out each and every seed in all the feeders, but trash the feeders, as well. We have a humane trap that allows us to ‘relocate’ the raccoon elsewhere, hopefully far enough from our house that he doesn’t return.

On the way down the driveway, we noticed leaves all over that indicated we had yet another gusty storm last night. At the bottom of the driveway, we found that the robot we made was leaning over, caught by the two chains we tied on him and attached to trees. One would THINK that when a robot weighs 150 pounds, one wouldn’t have to worry about him blowing over. We learned the hard way many years ago that it is REALLY difficult to stand up a heavy robot that has fallen off the driveway down to the slope beside it. Thankfully, it is now an easy thing to pull him upright.

Lewis welcome robot 

If you look carefully, you can also see one of the two owls we made for either side of the driveway.  Each sits atop a pole. (We have a closure we could swing shut to block entrance to the driveway.)

So this morning we have pulled the robot upright, relocated a raccoon, and I’ve started regular chores. We will have lunch soon.

I’m going to try to check my garden veggies today before the forecasted rain begins. Once it starts, it’s supposed to continue until the end of the day tomorrow.

I hope you are having a good Saturday.


Filed under Lewis yard art, Thoughts on a ________

A Beautiful Day, Except…


We are having a truly gorgeous day today – particularly for February. The sun is shining brightly and it’s 59 degrees outside!

Yesterday we not only saw the small herd of 6 deer beside the road on the way to town, but also saw a roadrunner when we got home.

Getty Images

This one above is not the one we saw, but the picture gives you an idea. He was up on our deck railing, eating the handful of seed we try to leave in the “bird” feeder we made from a shovel.

Shovel Bird Feeder

Shovel BirdFeeder and Friends on the Deck Railing

He seemed quite comfortable eating brunch as we watched. Two squirrels and a rabbit rounded out the wonderful display of nature.

Our doggies have LOVED the day, wearing us out with letting them out and back in again over and over. (They have to go out separately, since our lab, Amber, is jealous of our elderly cocker spaniel/schnauzer cross, Molly, and tries to hurt her.)  We are getting our exercise today playing “doggy doorman.”




I got the ingredients for keto chili in the crock pot early this morning – at my husband’s request – so we’ll enjoy having that ready to eat for dinner tonight. I also cut up a HUGE container of strawberries because my husband lives for his ‘cakes, ice cream, and strawberries’ each night.

This would be a perfect day except that it’s February, meaning I need to get our paperwork organized for our CPA to do our taxes. I have kept spreadsheets on the various deduction categories this year, and I have made myself enter the data each month, so I think it will be mostly a matter of checking things over, totaling everything, and printing the spreadsheets, then adding the appropriate backup for each thing.

Stock records to confirm as we wait for the company to send us the official records, filing, updating, and THEN opening the spreadsheets for the records for 2020 are also on the list.

If all this paperwork were done with a swish of my magic wand, I would be the happiest of women….


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We put up our turkey decoration on the mailbox as we left to go to Lunch Bunch and errands this morning.  We love making these.


I paint both sides of the piece so that people passing our driveway going in either direction can see it.  I hope they smile.


We made this yard critter turkey out of an old propane tank, a farm ‘tooth’ of some kind, rod, come metal strapping, and sheet metal.  We have him standing toward the top of our 650+ foot driveway to the side, beside an old, defunct computer my husband decided was ‘decorative’ and placed it on the edge of one of our brick planters. Happily, birds like it and make nests in it each year.



Filed under holidays, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, Lewis yard art

Happy Chinese New Year!

This is the Year of the Pig.

“Flying Pig” by Harvey and Linda Lewis

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

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


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

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

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Wonderful Way to Start a Day!


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!

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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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Filed under Art From Found Things, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, Lewis projects, Lewis yard art, metal art

Robot Critters Refurbished

It’s one thing to gather metal scraps of one kind or another, weld them together to make a yard critter, and paint them. Then you enter a whole new stage of trying to repair what sun, wind, rain, and changing temperatures does to them.

We have one “robot” on either side of our garage door. This one is the “Cleaning Robot.” He has a fireplace ‘dustpan’ in one hand and a fireplace ‘broom’ in the other. His paint was holding up all right, but his gloves were almost completely rotted off. His bow tie had turned pink and brittle, and he needed a good cleaning. I brought old gloves from our shop, stuffed them full of plastic bags and then we did a combination of putting screws through the gloves and then wires to hold the fingers. I ordered a new child’s bow tie. Now he’s spiffy for another spring and summer.


The “Farmer” robot is on the other side of the garage door. He also needed new gloves, and his bandana was almost completely gone. I couldn’t find another bandana in any color other than pink yet, so I used this piece of cloth in the interim. He loves it when people come to our house, enthusiastically waving, and saying, “Hi!”

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Thing Two – Tower for Critters

We had an extra section of tower when we got the parts for our ham radio tower awhile back. My husband had put it in the pile of stuff we would take to the next city clean-up. I suggested we use it to display some of the critters we make.

My husband made a form recently and dug the hole a couple of days ago. Yesterday we got 4 bags of Ready-Crete, mixed them up and poured the concrete for the tower. This pic shows the project before we started mixing the concrete.


Here’s a close-up of the hold before the concrete was poured.

We plan to attach things like shovel birds, dragonflies, and other weird things we make to the tower at various points. The tower is beside our ‘watermelon’ propane tank and will greet people when they get to the top of our driveway.

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You wouldn’t think a guy coming to fill the propane tanks would be fun, would you. We had the best time two days ago when the man came up the driveway.

First, he made sure we wanted fill-ups on both tanks (we have a 1,000 gallon tank for the house and a 250 gallon tank for the shop). Then he turned to his truck to get started and stopped, and started to laugh. He looked at us delightedly and said, “Oh, this is wonderful! I wish all my customers were so creative!”


We told him that it wasn’t OUR creativity, that we had seen this on the Internet and decided we wanted to try it. He said he didn’t care, he thought it was GREAT.

We’re still walking around about 3 inches off the ground from his nice pat on our heads. :0)

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The Fedex Man


Last evening our Fedex man brought us a delivery.

He jumped out of the truck with a serious look on his face. He looked at me and said, “You should sell this stuff.”  When I looked a bit blank, he added, “My wife and I just joined an artists group and they’re going to have shows. You and your husband should bring your artwork and sell it. I bet it would sell really well.”


Well, THAT made our day! :0)

We discovered that his wife is into interior design and furniture, and apparently has a real gift for decorating. But then he started talking about our critters again. I told him that it was harder and harder to find scrap metal. We used to be able to go to a junk yard and prowl around, gathering things that looked interesting. We did that at auto salvage places, too. Now, due to liability issues, no one will let you prowl around anymore. Sometimes we luck into things, but it really has limited our critter making.

He told us he would be on the lookout for interesting scraps and would bring them to us when he found them.

Isn’t he wonderful?

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Refurb of Taylor’s Shovel Bird Complete


This poor shovel bird was desperately in need of some attention after standing out in the Taylor’s yard for several years. I wish we could figure out a way to combat the effects of sun and weather better, but so far, we haven’t.

His refurbishment started with pulling off the remaining google eye. I wiped him down to get excess debris off and then gave him a scrubby bath – first with Simple Green, then with soap and water, and finally with “Pre” a spray-on degreaser that makes paint adhere to metal better. I put fresh primer paint on the spots that had rusted, then repainted the mail colors.



I used a metallic pen to do his ‘feathers.’  When the painting was dry, I sprayed him with polyurethane to protect the new paint as much as possible.



The last step was gluing on new googly eyes. I used Liquid Nails as a glue, then held them tight with clothes pins and heavy rubber bands until completely dry.

We’ll take him to the Taylors this Monday evening, when we pick them up to go bowling!


Filed under Lewis Art, Lewis yard art