Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer Camp is not just for kids.

Around this time last year, Bill and I were scouting for a cabin to rent
for this year's family get-together.  It proved to be almost impossible
to synchronize all our vacation schedules, but a few months ago we finally agreed
upon a time and place to spend a long weekend with our girls and their families.

 Paul Bunyan Camp
  • Electricity
  • Running water
  • Indoor toilets
  • Air-conditioning
It had all the amenities on my list.
Oh, how I love to rough it in the wilderness!   :@

We actually decided to spend the long weekend at Megan and Dave's
country home.  With two babies under 2, it seemed like the best choice.
They live near the Headwaters of the Mississippi River,
 home of Paul Bunyan and Babe the blue ox.

There was plenty of wildlife with 2 dogs, 2 kitties, and 2 babies.
Fishing, golfing, bonfires, games, all-you-can-eat fish fry, swimming (in the blow-up kiddie pool),
and comfortable beds at the end of the day.  Ahhhhh.....

Anyhow, I made the camp sign to hang on the Z family's house
 in honor of the occasion.  The idea for both the screen porch sign in my previous post
and the camp sign came from this book.....

  Here's the inspiration photo for the camp sign...

Isn't this a fun room?!

I made the sign in a couple of hours using a small piece of plywood,
some twigs, a short piece of rope, a few brad nails, and craft paints.

There was no shortage of branches to pick from after the storms we've weathered in July.
I drilled pilot holes in the branches with our smallest drill bit and tacked the
branches to the dark green painted board with small brad nails.

At first I tried cutting the branches with a miter box and hand saw,
but I discovered Bill suggested a much easier way to make some angled cuts.

I used my handy pruning tool that's meant for cutting dead branches.
I don't have a lot of hand strength, but this tool makes the job easy!

I tried to pick branches that had right angles to decrease the number of pieces
needed for the letters.  I then haphazardly dry brushed red craft paint over the letters.

I drilled 2 large holes through the board and threaded a piece of rope
through the holes.  To finish, I just tied a knot in each end of the rope.
Once again the sign cost me nothing, using only what I had on hand. 

Here it is hanging under the shelter of their wrap around porch.

Megan and Dave got their "craft on" by making a themed bean bag game.

The red "Paul Bunyan" team.

And team "Babe the Blue Ox".
(The pictures were taken at dusk after the kiddies went to bed.)

The beanbags also work well for juggling contests
as demonstrated by Megan and Jeremy.
I'll be practicing my beanbag skills (or lack of) before next year's event.

Summer camp also proved to be quite educational for us city folk.

We learned it's best not to befriend the neighbor's barn kitties.
It's quite possible Gunner has 2 new feline brothers.

It's perfectly okay to lock the neighbor's unattended 4 month old
puppy in the outdoor kennel......

especially when I so carelessly left my chewy leather sandals outside.

Unlike kids at camp, nobody had to tell us when it was lights out.
By the end of the day, we were all exhausted!

So long from this happy camper,

Join the parties at:
Funky Junk Interiors Junk Party


  1. Look at you Miss Happy Camper!! Love your CAMP sign and the Bean Bag Toss game is awesome!! I thought they were average sized until I looked back at the photos... they ARE Paul Bunyanized! The creative talent runs in the family I see. :) Lovely photos -- it looks like it was a wonderful weekend 'roughing it'. Sorry to hear about the one casualty. Lucky the barn cats didn't take a round out of you too. :)

  2. What a fun family get together! Love the Camp sign. Looks like a good time was had by all!

  3. You just continue to amaze me with your skills. The sign is adorable. And of course, I love the kitties!

  4. I love your camp sign, Vickie! I'm glad you were able to get all your schedules coordinated - it looks like you had a lot of fun. All my kids still live at home and we still had a hard time coming up with vacation time - between my husband and oldest son's full-time jobs and my middle son's part time job. We finally nailed down a little over a week to do something - now I just have to figure out what we are doing!

    Angie @ Knick of Time

  5. This looks like a wonderful family get-together, Vickie! Love the photos and your sign is SO great...

  6. O'I LOVE your Camp sign Vickie! I know how much fun and not to mention exhausting a family vacation can be! We just recently returned from a week long family vacation.

  7. Hahahaha. ;) I like the first comment. I think I am still having kitty nightmares. Hehehehehe......We had such a good time!!!! :) 3 nights next year! Soon we'll be up to a whole week!

  8. Vickie,
    looks like you had a blast! Your camp sign is fabulous, love it! You make the best stuff! On my last visit to my sister's in CA, we drove past the Camps & Cottage shop in Laguna Beach, sadly, my sister wouldn't stop! (not her thing and we were in a time crunch)!

  9. It looks like a great holiday and loving the camp sign and the cute inspiration !
    Ooh, and the cute kittens too.

  10. Vickie, sounds like you had a wonderful time with your family. Love the camp sign you made, you have such talent. Love reading your blog, since it is so inspiring to me.

  11. OK, I like the sign - it's cute, but Babe and Paul cracked. me. up! I feel like I should say ufda don'cha know. You are as cute as a bug, Mr. 911 looks mighty handsome, and I don't think I knew you were waiting on grand baby #3!


  12. You know I always admire your sign work. This one is just as campy as it gets.

  13. that's my kind of camp! your family get togethers must be so fun, vickie! even the critters want to hang out:) love the sign, again-you amaze me! great family pic!

  14. I have to check out that book. I love this sign too. It's the perfect camp sign. I love that you painted the branches.

  15. Fantastic! I've just discovered your lovely blog, and am now following...
    So nice to meet you!

  16. What a fun vacation!! I love the camp sign. So crafty, and yet it really looks like a the real thing from 1940's!

  17. Vickie this was such a cute post. Great job on the camping sign. I bet they loved it. It looks like you all were having so much fun.

  18. I adore your camp sign! You did a fantastic job on it. It looks professionally done. I can tell that book has been a good source of inspiration. Looks like you had a wonderful time too.

  19. First of all, you have a great looking family! And I love your camp sign! It sounds like you had a wonderful time. We're having a reunion this weekend. I hope it goes as well!

  20. what a wonderful homemade fun family time you had, beautiful photos, beautiful family, darn dog!!!!

  21. Hi again, Vickie. Thanks for linking this great sign up at the final Hot Fun in the Summertime party. I might have to get my branches out and give this a try.

  22. You are the Queen of beautiful sign making! I love your camp sign, charming, rustic, a great piece of folk art!! Looks like you all had a great time. Nice when family can get together, Laura

  23. Adorable! I LOVE that camp bedroom! Where do I sign up? Thanks for partying with us on our LAST (boohoo) week!

  24. Vickie - I adore your camp sign. It is so nostalgic and came out great. I just might have to try this too. What a wonderful family tradition.


  25. That looks like so much fun! I love that yellow room!

  26. Cute, cute sign!!!
    Everybody is playing "cornhole" these days!

  27. Hi Vickie! Love that little sign and it looks great hanging by the door.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  28. Very nice signs! This one, and the one of the last post.
    Great days in family.
    Besos! Silvina

  29. Hey Happy your sign!
    Also love the family photo, glad you had fun!

  30. Another fun sign!! I love it, Vickie! Looks like such a fun time.

  31. Vickie,
    What a cute sign!!! And that bean bag game is very cool too!!What a beautiful family photo.Looks like a fun day!You continue to inspire me!

  32. You made that CAMP Sign?!!! How cute is that! What a wonderful time with family, you guys did it right. Give me a comfy bed and I can do almost anything.
    Great post!!

  33. What a perfect Summer Vacation! It's great that you could all be together in such a neat place... and I LOVED the signs you made. You always inspire!


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