For the building of the pergola I was fortunate to have the help of my friend, Richard Jones, who has a large collection of tools and the know-how to use them. He also helped build the structure over the sandbox, so it was easy to construct a similar structure for the art area. In "real life" he is a software engineer, so you just never know what kinds of hidden talents are out there.
We started and finished the project in one weekend. On Saturday we purchased the materials and got the basic structure assembled. The weather cooperated nicely and actually turned out to be hot, but we weren't complaining! Once things started to come together, we could see how nice it was going to look and how well it was going to fit in with the other shade structure.
On Sunday we put up the cross-pieces and finished the tricky, angled section of the pergola. It was another couple of weeks before we could come back with the stain and paint it. Once again, mother nature cooperated and kept the snow at bay until we could finish the structure and make it weather-proof.
We used the same color of stain as the sandbox shade structure to give the yard continuity. When all was said and done, you could hardly even notice that the pergola was there, which means it fits in nicely and doesn't "stick out". Success!