For FALL 2010's delicious offerings of books, art, food, film, and unique travel--check out the NEW ISSUE of our online magazine FEAST--you will not go away hungry-- http://www.feastofbooks.com/

Between issues, read our blog posts as we and our special guests share thoughts, ideas, and recommendations about books, art, food, film, and travel. We love to hear from our readers, so please post a comment! Thanks-- Rosemary Carstens, editor

SNAX ONLINE is moving during the first quarter of 2011 -- stay tuned!

Snax Online is undergoing a redesign and will be moving to a new location. Check back from time to time for a link. In its new format, this blog will cover a wider range of topics but also its usual five. In the meantime, keep up with what's happening in the world of books, art, food, film, and travel at http://www.FEASTofBooks.com --

See you in 2011!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dreaming of Escape: Settling in on the land . . .

Each day as the economic news worsens, do you find yourself pulling inward, seeking a simpler life, more closely knit, safe from the whims of politics, economists, and the seemingly vengeful market? The desire to seek shelter from inclement weather of all types has always been a large part of what makes us dream of a “cabin” of our own, located in the midst of natural beauty and awesome vistas, a place where we can connect with those we love and seek spiritual respite. SEABRING DAVIS and BIG SKY JOURNAL have brought out a new book that connects us to those longings for home and hearth and safe harbors. The New Montana Cabin: Contemporary Approaches to the Traditional Western Retreat (Two Dot Books 2008) is a beautiful, photographic collection of secluded, rustic, romantic retreats all nestled in the midst of the Western landscape. It’s a great holiday gift for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, dreams of peaceful days and cozy nights, for anyone who just longs for a special, unique lifestyle away from the hustle and buzz.

The word “cabin” used to mean a structure that barely sheltered you from the wind and rain—I remember childhood visits to a family enclave outside Moab, Utah, where each of my cousin’s families had, basically, a shack—one room, bunks on either side, a big, black iron wood stove at one end. But they were smack dab in the middle of our very own glorious mountaintop and the memories are indelible and warm—and I have a photo taken years later that shows my initials more than six feet up the trunk of a tree, initials carved at chest height when I was about eight!

Seabring Davis brings us today’s cabins, getaways and full-time homes ranging from 120-square-feet of compact living snugged into a forest to a 7,000 s.f. log mountain-top mansion. As her chapter titles suggest, she covers everything from “Retro Cozy” to “Modern Homestead” and “Montana Micro Cabins” and every one of them reflects a reverence for the restorative wonders of a more natural environment far from citylife, a respect for sustainable living, and the beauty of creative interior design.

Throw a couple of logs on the fire, pour a couple of brandies or cups of hot chocolate, snuggle on the couch under a warm throw, and dream of better days ahead – Rosemary Carstens - http://carstenscommunications.com/


Anonymous said...

Yup, cabins are awesome. Something very special about them...My parents have one on a lake in the Sierras. I have been going up there since I was a baby. The neat thing about it is that you have to take a boat across the lake to get to the cabin... so once you're there you never get in a car or see roads, etc.

I have also very much enjoyed the 10th Mountain cabins here in Colorado. Lets go Rosemary!!! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Rosemary, your post about Davis' book is enticing, mostly because the cabins are a metaphor for security. We feel besieged by the unprecedented economic meltdown, wars, a failed medical system, crumbling infrastructure and a generally uncertain future. We long for a cozy retreat, a warm fire, a good book, and a loving companion to share it all in peace. Most of us don't have the physical cabin in the woods, but we can enjoy a peaceful retreat in our own minds, aided by the good book, of course.
Carol Grever

ClaireWalter said...

In addition to 21st century scale and rustic grandeur, most "cabins" today are no longer havens for cast-off, hand-me-down and replaced furnishings and vintage utensils from the primary residence. Today's cabins, whether modest or mansions, are decorated to the nines with appropriate furniture and suitable 'objets de campagne.'

I agree wtih Carol's comment these places are "metaphors" for comfort and security. Many that I have seen in Colorado and even in Montana are built in "cabin subdivisions" where security comes in the form of a gated community.

I've been writing some about design, including several pieces on recently built Rocky Mountain "cabins." Every bedroom has its own bathroom -- and there's usually a half-bath or two for good measure. Expect vaulted ceilings, several fireplaces, entertainment systems and high-tech kitchens with SubZero appliances and granite countertops. They tend to be gorgeous, but the word "cozy" doesn't usually come to mind.

Chandi's family cabin, like so many others, is related to today's cabins only by name. The small, spare "design" cabins are the exceptions. The rule is big, bigger, fancier and fancier.

But perhaps the plus side of the current state of the economy will be a scaling down from all this excess. But the book looks luscious, and even when dwellings are beyond my budget or my ambitions, I love looking at the pictures!

Anonymous said...

Clair's description of new, glitzy dwellings, some in gated communities, aren't really cabins at all. When I was a kid, my family had a real cabin on Grand Lake of the Cherokees in Oklahoma. We drove there in a pickup truck over dirt roads. Perched on the hill above Duck Creek was our place: A long, narrow building with a screened-in porch across the whole front. It had a kitchen/living room in the center with two bedrooms on either side. Rustic, comfortable, totally unpretentious, it was made for fun and summertime dreaming. I learned to swim in that lake, caught bass and crappie with my dad, and read many books sprawled on the bunk beds on the porch. Now that was a cabin!
Carol Grever