Published On: Thu, Jun 22nd, 2017

Ketelsens ‘gnome home’ is a work in progress 

OSMOND — A new addition to Osmond has been causing quite a stir along Fulton Street lately. The “gnome home” is a work in progress that began in April, when an 80-foot silver maple on the Doug and Patti Ketelsen property had to be cut down. The tree had been dropping branches and, during a blizzard in December, had dropped a large branch up against their house.

Doug and Patti Ketelsen stand next to Osmond’s latest residence, the “gnome home,” which is a work in progress

The Ketelsens had squirrel feeders on the tree, and Patti said they really wanted to keep the stump and somehow put the squirrel feeders on it until the new trees they will be planting have grown. When the old tree was cut down, the top was cut with the angles because they already had the idea of putting the roof on it. The Ketelsens then went online and saw some “gnome home” ideas, and the project grew from there.
Patti wanted to make sure that everything used for the “gnome home” is recycled or repurposed. The shingles on the roof came from the bowling alley when it was remodeled. The stairs were made from an old barn door that the hinges and the door handle also came from. The mailbox was a regular-size mailbox found in a junk pile. Doug then cut out the center six inches and put the front and the back pieces together. The Ketelsens have even received “mail” in their mail box in recent days.
“Everything has a story,” Patti said. They recently added a clothes line, with gnome “jammies” hanging on it. A glass mushroom, one of the projects of the summer reading program, was donated by Keely Gubbels. Another summer reading project, a painted rock, also appeared on the gnome’s doorstep, but has since been replaced with another painted rock. Other donations, to be added soon, are bird houses made by Chick Reed.
A solar light was used to shine up to the window at night to make it look like there is a light on inside. “That still needs to be perfected,” Doug said.
Doug’s project last Thursday was a chimney, and they also plan to add a squirrel feeder made from a little pig feeder sometime soon, using branches to make stair-steps up to it.
Another donation to the “gnome home” — for a while, anyway — was a traveling gnome. Donated by the HOME Team, this gnome will be part of a fun activity in which the gnome will be moved around town to various locations. The Ketelsens have since moved him to another location, Patti said. On Father’s Day, Doug received a gnome from the Ketelsens’ children, Andy Ketelsen, Amy Reimers and Brady Ketelsen.
Some of the comments seen on Facebook were: “Can’t wait to see what else you have in mind.” “We had to take a drive just to check out this awesome li’l house the other night!!” “Such a cute idea!!  It will be fun to watch the ‘progress’ and creativity of the two of you!!” “It looks like the Keebler Elves house!! So awesome!” “Maybe kids could write to the gnome and get letters back in that little mailbox?!”
When asked if the Ketelsens needed a building permit for the tiny house, Patti laughed, “I hope not!”