What a year! We were all over the map in 2007, and boy was
going to be a good year when we kick off with the Dreams Happen Gala
event. For the 2007 auction, Barbara went magical and tuned in to her inner
witch. The Wizards Hideout was a huge success, raising $52,000 for Rebuilding Together Peninsula. We've participated in the bi-annual event since 1999, and
it's always an exciting night! True to our high standards of play-ability, the
Wizards Lookout Tower features lots of climbing and sliding to complement the
coziness of the Wizards Playhouse, a perfect spot to study spell books! There
will be plenty of attacks to watch for, damsels in distress to rescue and
captures to make and escape from in this structure!
structures made some big journeys in 2007. We sent a Hideaway Fort carved with numerous sea creatures to gorgeous Hawaii; a custom play structure
& treehouse to Seoul, Korea; plus we got the chance to visit our friends to
the north again, delivering a Robin Hood's Fort to Vancouver, British Columbia!
We are proud to be making a quality product in the U.S., but it's always a
pleasure to know that our products are appreciated internationally as well.
One of our
journeys this year took us to Texas, where everything is big, and a play
structure is no exception! Fort Fiesta offers something for everyone
with multiple forts, a catwalk through the trees, bridges, swings, rock
climbing, rope net ladder, two slides, flags, a firepole, a pulley bucket, a
100' long zip line and even monkey bars under the Treefort deck. Phew! Now
that's a lot of play. Plus this structure pays homage to its
Southwestern/Mexican roots with its wonderful colors, intricate hand-carved
images and unique details.
become a big trend, and we had " tree-mendous" one this year. The Tree Top
Inn is sure to spark imaginations in everyone who sees it! With the rope
railings, bridges and stairs, not to mention the lookout perch, all weaving
between the trees, the structures feel as though they've always been there.
It's hard to not imagine a band of merry children (or those who are still
kids-at-heart) gallivanting through the trees, resisting growing up. I can
almost hear the laughter now! The spectacular views abound with multiple decks
in multiple trees making it a perfect spot for any day, whether you're in the
mood for playing chase or just reading your favorite book.
You can now find us in Las Vegas as well! Four of our
structures went in to the Children's Park at Turnberry Town Square Shopping Center. All of the structures meet ASTM F 1487-07 Standard for Playground
Equipment for Public Use and ADA Handicap Accessible Guidelines.
Juliet's Playhouses for the 5 to 12 age range and The Bakery/Cafe for the 2 to 5 age range,
Treehouse for the 5 to 12 age range
The Town Square Theater for all ages.
As you might imagine, this was an extraordinary undertaking, but as anyone can see from all
the happy children, it was worth the effort. The Playhouses were designed to
have the same old world European appeal as the surrounding buildings, while
still having lots of fun features, including the Stainless Steel Firepole, the
Coil Climber, table and chairs, Rope Net Ladder and slide. The Bakery/Cafe
even has a built-in Kitchen Set and cakes that look good enough to eat! For
the Treehouse, Barbara even made a trip to Texas to help choose the right tree,
which was then shipped all the way to Las Vegas. With a triple slide, swinging
bridge, rock climbing wall, rung ladder and more, there's fun around every
turn, all while under the welcoming branches of a picture-perfect tree. The
Theater is a beautiful structure that gives all those budding stars a chance to
perform for their adoring public!
Barbara even made time this year for a trip back to her
hometown of Watertown, NY, where she toured her childhood home and was featured
in the Watertown Daily Times. Barbara has always maintained that this
eccentric house gave her a multitude of playful ideas, and she had a great time
re-visiting it. We can't wait to see what new ideas the house will inspire
this time around!
You may have
seen us on HGTV this summer as well! Barbara's Tree Top Bungalow was
featured on a one hour special, " Sizzling Summer Backyard," which aired
on July 8, 2007. Built into the side of a mountain, this multi-level custom
structure boasts not only lots of fun play elements, but also magnificent views
that are matched only by the imaginations of the kids!
The family members were great sports being interviewed for the
segment. They did a fantastic job, and we really appreciate their support!
With all this
jet-setting, you might think we're tuckered out ourselves, but we've been busy
at home too! Our stain supplier went out of business, so we decided to start
making the stains ourselves. It's been a big learning curve, but with such a
wonderful product, we are enjoying going back to school, in a way. Our Master
Stainer has proven that he's up for the challenge, making our transition as
seamless as possible. We've also had the opportunity to expand our shop space,
which allowed us to reorganize and become more efficient. The new Stain
Department is tucked away to help keep the redwood dust out. Well as much as
possible anyway. That dust is everywhere around here! The new space has also
allowed us to create a " construction loop" with structures starting on the
building side of the shop, then moving to staining and ending the loop with
detailing. Plus Barbara has moved in to a new office, which lets her be closer
to construction, and she has room for meetings now!