Stained Glass Cabin

Using repurposed window frames and lumber, stained glass artist and jeweller Neile Cooper has created a tiny retreat in the woods that features dozens of her stained glass artworks. Glass Cabin looks like the perfect escape to recharge and even has a little working desk and couch. The New Jersey-based artist also sells unique…

via A Stained Glass Cabin in the Woods — TwistedSifter

Love this! Very creative, very colorful, and what appears to be such a peaceful setting.


Decorating for the Holidays

Finding the Unexpected

Photo of the Day
December 15, 2011

Here’s an example of a home with attractive holiday curb appeal. Lighted trees flank the front door, a lit wreath hangs on the chimney, and a lit shrub on the left side balances the trees by the door.

I came home and looked at the photo on my computer’s large screen. I noticed a surprise element in the photo. (Click on the photo to enlarge it.) Can you find it? Does it put a smile on your face?  Happy holidays!



Real Estate and Weather and Halloween

October 31, 1991 vs. October 31, 2011

The Story of a Buyer and a Blizzard

In the fall of 1991, I was working with a buyer who was purchasing a condo. She closed on her new home on the morning of October 31st. She left the closing and immediately began the process of moving.

On that same autumn day, snow began to fall. The first few inches fell on warm pavement and turned to ice. By late afternoon, heavy snow was falling and by midnight over 8″ of snow had fallen.

I contacted my client that evening and learned that she and her daughter were finished moving into her new place. The storm continued over the next two days, dropping over 28″ of snow on the Twin Cities. My client and her daughter were snowed in and had plenty of time to unpack. We were thankful for the early morning closing.

Twenty years have passed and she is still living in her condo. Today there is no blizzard, no snow, no ice. We have the more normal fifty-degree temperature and the beautiful fall colors. My client has her lovely home and, perhaps, some trick-or-treating children knocking on her door.

Looking to buy or sell real estate?
Contact us!

Ellen Walsh

Kate Walsh


Detour to Beauty

Photo of the Day
April 17, 2011

Friday night and Saturday morning brought yet more snow to what has been a long winter here in the Twin Cities. I had been dreading this spring storm. I’m ready for sun and warm temperatures. I awoke to find the trees covered in snow, always a beautiful sight.

I headed out in my car to start my day and took a wrong turn. I traveled the road for some distance. I’d been on the road before so it wasn’t unfamiliar. I came upon this pretty site and wished I had my good camera. Alas, the sun was starting to peek out, the snow was melting and dropping blobs on my windshield, and I knew I had to snap the photo or lose the opportunity. The cell phone camera won out in this race against time and temp.

The wrong turn became the perfect detour. What a great start to the day!


Trees and Snow and Hills and Beauty

Photos of the Day
February 20, 2011

I ventured off the beaten path and found an unexpectedly peaceful place.

Hill of Trees

The ice crunched underneath my feet and tires,
adding sound to the otherwise silent landscape.

Three Trees and Nature's Light

Here were three trees, standing tall and majestic.

A Red Bench and a View

I walked across a field of hard snow to this red bench and thought to myself –
‘I’m walking on water’.
Being in the quiet and beauty of nature always makes me
feel connected to things greater than myself.

When did you last veer off the beaten path? What did you discover?



Woes of Ice Dams and Other Winter Tales

Icicles at Home

Photographer: Ian Britton

You can see them as you walk and drive around your neighborhoods. Icicles. They hang from roofs and can be long and short. I’ve seen some that stretch all the way down to the ground, nearly covering the entryway or a wall of a home. Yes, winter brings us not just snow but ice.

Here’s an article in the Wall Street Journal on this topic: Homeowners Beware: After Snow, the Ice Dam Cometh. People use roof rakes, RoofMelt tablets, ice-cutting, electrical ice-melt roof systems, and insulation in an effort to minimize and eliminate snow buildup. Others climb on their roofs and try removing the snow in other ways.

Care is necessary when taking on these projects. One can fall off a roof and be injured. Icicles can fall and hit people. Ice melts and leaves icy patches on stoops.

A friend lives in a 1940’s house. It’s a single story with an attic above. He had considered adding recessed lighting to his living room and kitchen while renovating. I advised against it due to the possibility of future ice dams as a result of heat from the recessed lights entering the attic. My client also wanted to retain as much architectural integrity as possible in the house. Recessed lights were not part of 1940’s architecture. Today his house is free of both recessed lighting and interior water damage from ice dams.

Read more about icicles.

Photographer: Ian Britton

Learn more about ice dams through the University of Minnesota.

Here’s why summer is the best time to prevent ice dams.

Of course, winter is not without its charm. There is plenty of breathtaking beauty to go with winter’s challenges. I am both enchanted and in angst upon sight of the first snowfall of the season. And the long days of winter provide more of both of these emotions in me. Here then, some photos of the prettier side of winter.

Photos by Ian Britton courtesy of
All other photos courtesy of


Capturing the Snowfall

Photos of the Day

January 3, 2011

Powdery snow fell and blanketed the city with fresh winter beauty.

Red Brick and Falling Snow – Minneapolis




The Beauty of Winter’s Morning Light

Shadows on the Snow

If the holidays are stressful for you, rise early and bask in the peacefulness of the dawning day. The early morning light and quiet are plenty restorative.


Photo of the Day: Snowboarding Sculpture

First Snowfall of the Season

November 13, 2010

Today we are getting our first snowfall here in the Twin Cities. Our total snow accumulation is expected to be between 6″ and 12″. There are tree limbs down and power outages. Numerous cars have wheels just spinning rather than gripping. I saw a Facebook posting about someone’s son going out to snowboard and that made me think of this photo.

It was a beautiful fall with warm and sunny days. I am so ready for spring.  🙂