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2003 Highlights
Dear Friends:
Filmed for Dreamworks' movie "ENVY" starring Ben Stiller & Jack Black, then installed in January at an Atherton, CA home

We hope you had a fun and successful 2003! We like to measure our success by the number of fabulous play structures we have the opportunity and good fortune to build. By this standard, 2003 has been a fascinating, fun-filled year. Here are some of the highlights from 2003:

JANUARY IS THE START OF OUR BUSY SEASON, when clients begin to line up for custom designs to be built & installed during the spring and summer. Because we are a small shop that custom builds a few at a time, we encourage everyone to sign their Design Agreement early to hold their place in line!

Texas Towers

FEBRUARY IN DALLAS, TEXAS, where spring weather is great and the folks are friendly. We delivered a large, custom play structure called the "Texas Towers". This is our first Supervised Installation. Instead of sending my whole crew, just my husband, Jeff, and I went and supervised the installation. The client provided skilled labor to work under our direction. It was a complete success, with this large play structure fully installed in only 4 days for a substantial cost savings.

 

MARCH AT THE 2003 SF FLOWER & GARDEN SHOW, with 2 custom designed play structures featured in one of the big gardens. Working closely with Landscape Designer Daniel Owens (sole proprietor of Enviromagic) & Landscape Contractor Michael Moore (owner of Masterpiece Gardens) we created the perfect play space for our "Garden of Make Believe". Our goal was to create an environment that is both aesthetically appealing and integral to the landscape, while at the same time, dramatic in it's playful appeal.

 

APRIL: TWO "PUBLIC USE" PROJECTS IN FLORIDA...

  • "Design Only" for Walt Disney (still in progress) and
  • "Design/Build" for Arvida's WaterColor, a high-end resort community.

Fort WaterColor, as seen in the design drawing (left) and while being assembled at our shop (right) before shipping. After making sure all parts fit together perfectly, we disassembled and shipped in modular pieces. The fort arrived in time for Arvida's crew to install it for their Grand Opening on July 4th. The opening was a great success!


 


Our crew loading Count Rococo's Castle onto a flatbed truck to deliver it to the Stanford Mall

MAY IS WHEN "DREAM'S HAPPEN"... This is the third time we have donated a play structure to be auctioned off for the benefit of Rebuilding Together, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families in need. This year we donated Count Rococo's Castle as seen here on display at the Stanford Shopping Mall, along with 12 other play structures donated by local Architects & Builders.

Count Rococo's Castle was a grand success, raising $24,000 at auction.



JUNE & JULY WE DRIVE ACROSS COUNTRY to deliver two play structures to Chicago, two to New York, and one to Connecticut. We love to combine East Coast deliveries, passing the cost savings on to our customers! Our driver is an expert installer (my versatile husband, Jeff). Here's what Kathleen McNamee, in Albany, NY, wrote and told us:

Dear Barbara and Suzanne: What a delight. The children love the fort/playset. I will send pictures very soon!! Jeff was wonderful! 5-year old Roger went up to him on the 2nd day, and, giving him a Starburst piece of candy, said "here... this is for you because you're working so hard!" It was very cute! You should have seen the children peering over and through the fence for the pea stone to be put in completely. We are so happy with the quality of the materials and the superior craftsmanship! (P.S. Are you free to do an addition on our main house?!! only kidding). The colors are so happy and it is a treat to drive by and see it in the distance, nestled in between the large weeping willow and the huge rhododendrons. Thank you, thank you. Especially for all your efforts to make children happy!! Love Kathleen

Life by hte Lake
Cape Codder
Girl in the balcony of Romeo & Juliet's Castle
King Sized Robin Hood's Fort Connecticut

AUGUST INCLUDES PLAY STRUCTURE & FURNITURE INSTALLATIONS: Cape Codder Combo features both the Cape Codder playhouse & the Robin Hood's Fort tied together with a bridge over 2 gliders; Romeo & Juliet's Castle is hard to resist with a curved balcony, carved with flowers, peaking out over a kid-size theater with green velvet curtains;

Scott O'Keefe commissioned me to make a custom headboard. My design, "Life on the Lake", is a hand-carved and stained scene from the Connecticut lake where he lives.

Our King-sized Robin Hood's Fort looks picturesque nestled in Connecticut woods


 


SEPTEMBER IN BEVERLY HILLS:

A charming cedar-shingled play structure is an integral element of a major landscaping project in Beverly Hills. The play structure is designed to blend with the colors of the main house and still retain a whimsical look.

Our Cozy Cabin was donated for the benefit of Caring for Children & Families with AIDS (CCFA) and raffled at a celebrity luncheon "Lullabies & Luxuries". CCFA hosts include Bruce Willis, Courtney Cox & Penelope Cruz.

Fort Autumn

OCTOBER IN OHIO where, once again, we install 2 large play structures back to back. Here is a drawing of Fort Autumn:



NOVEMBER: Sierra's modified Hideaway Fort is finished and Sierra's mom writes:

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Sierra loves it, the neighbor kids love it, and we love it! Sierra has even mastered the firepole now. Plus the climbing wall has given her confidence and the desire to get stronger YEAH!

December: A TIME TO REFLECT, SLOW DOWN, GIVE THANKS, AND EXPRESS OUR APPRECIATION TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE MADE OUR WORK POSSIBLE THROUGH YOUR INTEREST AND SUPPORT... THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US!

Expert Builders
Sean, Moira, Frenchy(ship Manager), Jose, Sergio
(from left)
Barbara and Suzanne "Fearless Leaders"
Jeff
Installations
Office Girls:
Shop Kitty & Gabrielle, Suzanne, Teena Albert: Graphics & Photograher, Lila
(from left)

Jeff
Installations
James
AutoCad
Robert
Technical
Ember & Rudi, Staining Artists

Barbara

Barbara has been building unique custom play structures for over 16 years. Her work has appeared in many publications, including Architectural Digest, People & Child Magazine and has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, HGTVs Modern Masters, the Christopher Lowell Show, the CBS Early Show & Livin Large.