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Behind the Scenes

25 Jan

Learn More About Treehouse Masters' 'Treehive Beehive'

Contributed By Tory Jones

Get an in-depth look at how the beautiful designs inside these treehouse masterpieces come together with Treehouse Masters' own Tory Jones. Find out more about the Treehive Beehive inside this blog post!


Donald and Alison Farmer’s beehive treehouse was an unusual request – not just because the exterior was so different, but also because the space was very small and Alison did not want furniture inside. Instead, she wanted shelving and soft places to sit.  My solution was to have my trusted carpenter Lisa Mei Ling Fong build 22 hexagonal shelving units to create a modular hive like structure inside so it would act as shelving, cabinets and surfaces. The modular hive cells were then painted primary colors; some were backed with mirrors and some were fronted by stained glass by a local artist from Whidbey Island Dennis Meszaros of Meazaros Glass Studio.

Dennis not only fronted the cabinets, but did a custom hive hexagonal window for the front door that hints at what is to be revealed inside.  Not wanting to waste anything, he then took the leftover pieces of glass and formed hanging hex mosaics in the kiln to hang from the ceiling.  The effect it creates is as thought you are inside a kaleidoscope.


For the hive lighting, I needed a fixture that would emit the shadows of hive life, so I put out a call to the Seattle based knitting and crochet group Web of Dreams and Zippy La Rue. One of the happy (crochet) hookers answered my quest and knitted up two fantastic globes. It's the bee's knees!


For the flooring I sourced pure New Zealand wool felted shag carpet and cut and patterned it into yet another series of hexagons and top it off by adding soft bean bags from Comfy Sack.

16 Jan

Design Specifics from the 'Meditating Maple' Episode of Treehouse Masters

Contributed By Tory Jones

Get an in-depth look at how the beautiful designs inside these treehouse masterpieces come together with Treehouse Masters' own Tory Jones. Find out more about the Meditating Maple inside this blog post!


For the Meditating Maple in West Seattle, the lovely client, who is a Reiki master, wanted to include other healing modalities that engaged all the senses within the interior of the treehouse. We decided we would address halotherapy with a Himalayan Salt Wall, so I contacted the husband and wife team of Matthias and Annett at Salt Mine Arium – The Salt spa of Bellevue. The couple runs an incredible salt covered and infused spa and Matthias specializes in constructing custom walls.  Matthias was excited to design a wall and seat combo for the treehouse. To get a dose of heliotherapy as well, he also included lighting functionality within the bench - it even changed all the colors of the chakras. 

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25 Jul

Go Off The Grid With Ice Lake Rebels

Stephan and Allyce
Meet Stephan Hervieux and Allyce Rattray, two of the stars from Animal Planet's new series, Ice Lake Rebels! (Photo Credit: David Johnson and Discovery Communications)

Picture living in a world without any laws or government. It’s hard to imagine, but it’s the reality for a group of settlers living in northern Canada in Animal Planet’s new show, Ice Lake Rebels.

In the series, premiering Sunday, July 27 at 10/9c, we’ll follow the community of Great Slave Lake, the picturesque land where the inhabitants are free from taxation and Canadian law. It sounds like paradise, but living in a lawless utopia comes with a price.

“Off the grid to us…is being 100 percent self sufficient off the world’s services,” said Stephan Hervieux, one of the Rebels. “We’re providing our own water, power, and sewage.”

Think they can just go to the grocery store on a whim? Think again.

“We fish whatever we can, we grow whatever we can,” said Allyce Rattray, Stephan’s girlfriend.

Stephan and Allyce’s resilience will be tested in Sunday’s season premiere when an emergency to their houseboat forces them to stop at nothing to keep it from sinking. Over the course of several episodes, we’ll witness the ups and downs Great Slave Lake houseboaters face living on their own terms.

It isn’t an easy way to live, but these rebels wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I thank God every time I cross the water,” Stephan said. “I don’t take my life for granted anymore.”

See what unfolds and tune in for Ice Lake Rebels, premiering Sunday, July 27 at 10/9c, only on Animal Planet!

24 Apr

Getting to Know Greenland: Meet Jens-Erik Kirkegaard, Minister of Industry & Minerals, Government of Greenland

Contributed by David Casey


1. Tell us about your life growing up in Greenland.

Life growing up in Ilulissat, Greenland was a joy, and I had a wonderful childhood.

I was born and raised in Ilulissat and have two brothers and one sister. My grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins made childhood a time of learning love for others, respect and hard work.

I grew up among dogsleds in Ilulissat, which is said to have more dogs than humans. I used my granddad’s dogs to go dogsledding with one of my brothers. Of course there was school as well as sporting activities where I played soccer as a child.

In the summertime we used to go fishing and hunting in the bays around Ilulissat. My Dad had a 30-foot slow-going boat that sailed approx. 6 knots. I used to love boating in my father’s old boat, which was build in 1939 I am told. I remember some of the fishermen used to tease us about the boat being so slow. But it was fun and I liked the journeys as much as the destinations.

[Watch the Season Finale of Ice Cold Gold TONIGHT at 10PM E/P!]


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23 Apr

What does this BIBI CHEMNITZ shirt have in common with Ice Cold Gold?

Contributed by Tanny Por


Photo by Mads Pihl

Probably more than you think at first glance.  

It’s obvious that America and Greenland feature in both the BIBI CHEMNITZ design and reality tv series, but there’s a less obvious connection to the story: Greenland’s minerals.

For ICE COLD GOLD, the search for mineral riches was a dramatic way to showcase Greenland in a format that would be accepted by the American audience.

For BIBI CHEMNITZ, a Greenland-inspired clothing label, it was a chance to tell a story through clothing.

Founder of the label Bibi Chemnitz is a Greenlander based in Copenhagen. Together with her partner David Rogilds, they design a full clothing line that is ‘functional Scandinavian with a Greenlandic soul’.

[Watch the Season Finale of Ice Cold Gold Thursday at 10PM E/P!]

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16 Apr

Getting to Know Greenland: Meet Flemming Bisgaard

Contributed by Betsy Sanner Ayala


Flemming Bisgaard is the head of Bisgaard Trading in the heart of Ilulissat, Greenland right in Disko Bay. He has been a pilot for Air Greenland for over two decades and is one of about half a dozen specially designated pilots who fly the Sikorsky helicopter, which acts as an ambulance in the air.

For approximately six months out of the year he is on call for any emergency that may arise in all of Greenland. Last year when we were filming in Greenland, a very unfortunate event happened where four people were flown into Nuuk in a helicopter from Siorapaluk, which is over 1,000 miles away from Nuuk by air. Due to a terrible case of botulism from eating Kiviak, or auk birds preserved in the hollowed-out body of a seal, one elderly man died. The unknowingly bad Kiviak was then served at his funeral where it was eaten again, and his daughter died. Flemming and his fellow pilots are on call for such emergencies.

Flemming was also the head of operations for the Ice Cold Gold crew when we shot in Ilulissat, serving Josh Feldman and Eric Drummond.

[Catch an all-new episode of Ice Cold Gold Thursday at 10PM E/P!]

1) Where are you from? How would you describe the town where you live?

I was born just a few hundred meters from the coast of the North Sea in a small fishing town called Jutland, Denmark. That’s probably why I had such a good feeling about Ilulissat, Greenland. I had my first job in Greenland in 1995 where I worked as an apprentice for a (black)smith. Soon after I started my helicopter pilot education, and was hired the year after on the Sikorsky helicopter in Ilulissat. I have been working 3 weeks on and 3 weeks off ever since.

The Town of Ilulissat is the most perfect and special place. Normally the weather is very good, and the sun shines almost 24 hours a day during the four summer months. There are a lot of fishing activities in Ilulissat with 4,500 citizens and about 3,000 dogs. All the sled dogs are used only for working. When it’s tourist season the town becomes very active with lots of cruise ships and many visitors.  

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10 Apr

Getting to Know Greenland: Meet Finn Siegstad

Contributed by Julie Brothers



Finn Siegstad is the Key Account Manager for the charter division of Air Greenland. Air Greenland has one of the most versatile fleets in the world, considering the size of the country, the terrain and the weather.

These helicopters must cover it all, everything from taking locals to other parts of the country to performing search and rescue missions.

60 of the 72 populated areas of Greenland are connected via helicopter transport – since the 1960’s the presence of these helicopters in Greenland has been vital.

[Tune in for a brand new episode of Ice Cold Gold tonight at 10PM E/P!]

1) How long have you been working for Air Greenland, and where are you originally from?

I am from Ilulissat, Greenland in Diskobay. I have been working for Air Greenland for 6 years now. Before that I worked for a helicopter company named Air Alpha, operating in the Diskobay area and East Greenland. I have been working within the aviation business for over 20 years.

2) How many helicopters are on Air Greenland's fleet? What purposes do they serve?

We have 22 helicopters. 12 AS350’s, 8 Bell 212’s and 2 Sikorsky 61’s.

The AS350 helicopters are mostly used within the mining industry. Bell 212 are scattered around Greenland, their main purpose is to fly the locals between villages and towns, which connects them to the rest of the world. Sikorsky-61’s are stand-by helicopters for Search and Rescue missions and medical use.

These various helicopters help in maintaining the communication systems within Greenland coast as well as aid in small miscellaneous flights for tourist, scientists and other travellers.

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2 Apr

Getting to Know Greenland: Meet Grace J. Heindorf Nielsen, Greenland Production Manager, Ice Cold Gold

Contributed by David Casey

Credit: Danny Long

Grace J. Heindorf Nielsen is co-founder of Bmg-Greenland, a travel management company based in Nuuk, Greenland. Grace has worked over ten years in the Greenlandic tourism industry. She has a wealth of experience in planning tours, shore handling for cruise companies, conferences and general office management. Grace has extensive knowledge of the local community, its history, cultural values and people. She usually knows whom to contact to get something done. She is fluent in English, Danish and Swedish and speaks some German.

Grace has worked as the Greenland Production Manager for both seasons of Ice Cold Gold.

[Watch an all-new episode of Ice Cold Gold Thursday at 10PM E/P!]

1.) How did you come to Greenland as a child? Was there something that you fell in love with about Greenland that made you stay?

I was born in Helsinki, Finland. My mother was from the USA and my father from Denmark. We moved here when I was nine years old. My parents wanted to tell people about the Bahá’í Faith. I grew up here and Greenland is my home.  Fresh air, clean water, wide-open spaces, friendly people and it never gets miserably hot.

2.) Tourism is steadily growing in Greenland. How did you get into the industry? 

On a fluke, actually. A friend of mine was running a little tourist office in 1992 and when a cruise ship came to town she needed a guide who could speak English. I wasn’t sure how it would work out, but decided if it was a disaster, at least I would never see those folks again. As it turned out, it went really well and I found a new calling.    

3.)Icg-photo What are some of the misconceptions that people have of Greenland and Greenlanders?

I think for many visitors, we are a much different society than they expected. Some are floored by our level of sophistication and modernity. They are shocked we have cars. While others sometimes seem frustrated that not everything can run like clockwork. Most are not prepared for how much the weather impacts on our lives and plans.

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27 Mar

Getting to Know Greenland: Meet Malik Lynge Papis

Contributed by David Casey


Malik Lynge Papis is French, Greenlandic and Danish. His Danish side can be traced back to the founding fathers of Greenland. Malik was the base camp manager for Ice Cold Gold Season 1.  He is the owner of Inuit Resources, an exploration services company serving international mining companies such as Sixty Degree Resources. Malik was also an instrumental source of local information for the team of miners. 

1.) Tell us about yourself: where you're from, the work you do, and how you got to be where you are now.

My Name is Malik Lynge Papis (Malik means Wave in Inuit). I am half Inuk, half French with some Norse and Greek heritage. I was born and raised in Nuuk, though I traveled to Europe throughout most of my childhood. In 1997 I had the opportunity to go to the inland ice to work on a drilling project. Since then, mineral exploration has become my passion and way of making a living. I have done everything from drilling and prospecting to channel sampling, mapping, grade verification, granulometry, environmental sampling and measuring. I have operated heavy equipment, supplied local labor to mining operations, handled logistics, contracting and have even peeled potatoes in the field. There is always something to do in the field.

[Watch an all-new episode of Ice Cold Gold TONIGHT at 10PM E/P!]

2.) You were the base camp manager for the first season of Ice Cold Gold. What did the job entail, and what was a typical day like for you at base camp?

The job was to design the camp and handle its budgeting and construction. I installed the electricity and hot and cold water as well. There is no typical day in any camp. But with Ice Cold Gold a "usual" day could include: hauling equipment and supplies, refueling the generator, constructing outhouses, building evening campfires, cooking, cleaning, and ordering supplies.

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20 Mar

Emergency rescue: Operation Greenland

Contributed by Tanny Por

Chief Executive Officer Anne-Marie Ulrik in the Northern city of Aasiaat, where she lived until last April.

When life-threatening emergencies occur in tiny and distant Greenlandic settlements, what happens? The reality is tough, tells Executive Medical Officer of Greenland, Anne-Marie Ulrik.  

Fifty-seven, give or take. That’s the number of inhabitants who live in the northernmost settlement in Greenland, Siorapaluk. Located 77 degrees North, it’s a quiet and isolated village surrounded by grand mountains, ice and the cold sea. Traditional living is inevitable up here; hunting walrus, polar bears and seal is the way of life. 

You can imagine that for a village this size, everybody’s hit when tragedy strikes. Certainly, this was the case in 2013 when ill-prepared traditional food prompted a bizarre turn of deadly events.


Like everywhere else in the world, Greenlandic traditional cuisine is influenced by the surrounding nature. Life wasn’t easy for the Inuit ancestors, who lived in harsh polar conditions without the ease of modern technology. Learning traditional ways of preserving food was necessary for survival.   

Unfortunately for the residents of Siaropaluk last year, a special traditional meal of eider birds in a seal buried underground was not prepared properly. The food became toxic and resulted in the death of a man. Due to his old age, nobody suspected that he had suffered from botulism, a toxic form of food poisoning. Suspicions only arose when six other people got sick after the same meal was served again at the man’s funeral. The man’s own daughter also died.

[Tune in for an All-New Ice Cold Gold Tonight at 10PM E/P!]

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