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!