Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Re-create the Look: Extreme Edition

I'm not sure how I feel about winter --that is real, snowy, below-zero winter-- anymore.  Growing up it was the most magical New England season.  My best friend, sister and I were sledding- and snow-fort-building-enthusiasts, to say the least.  My mom used to have to drag us inside every couple hours to prevent frostbite.  As a young adult, I devoured books like Dogsong  by Gary Paulsen, which Google Books hilariously labels "Self Help" (perhaps, for twelve-year-old girls wanting to do the Iditarod). Now I wonder if I'll ever choose to live in a place with a real winter again.  I know my younger self would scoff at the no-fun kind of grown-up I've become, but I'm wary of the prospect of shoveling snow and waiting until April to see green.  Yet, there's a small part of my imagination that will always live in the snow.  Not in the real, cold snow, but more like the winter fantasy pictured above, where racing across snow and ice involves a puppy in a designer handbag and a camp as pictured for our destination. (See a slideshow of Eric Valli's campaign for Hermes here, you will not regret clicking, I promise).

Not that designer handbags are really my passion, per se, but puppies and forts are still at the top of my list.  The above via Helena Holmstedt .  Clearly the arctic dog sled is underutilized as a decor piece.  Here's what you need to live the fantasy on a backyard scale:

The classic, flexible flyer with red, powder-coated steel runners.  This is a dream sled of the variety that become family heirlooms and endure their time in the attic between generations with grace.  At 48", I have definitely outgrown this model.  I am not discouraged in the slightest.  Available here (currently out of stock) for around $80.00.
At right is a serious tent.  This is the SpikeII from Montana Canvas via.  Unlike the above, open air version, I'm sure you would stay toasty in there, especially with the addition of the stove.  You could actually camp in this, in the real winter.  It's priced accordingly (around $1000).  To re-create the former, only suitable for fantasy winter, or daytime lounging and cocoa consumption between sled runs, I think a tarp with grommets, some poles, twine and stakes, a princess in the pea mattress would work.

Here's the Coleman NORTHSTAR® INSTASTART™ PROPANE LANTERN.  the lantern resembles those hanging on the side of the tent and looks like it would adequately fulfill my needs for propane lanterns.  I love my little propane stove and the primal exhilaration that comes from cooking something incredibly simple over it.  It reminds me of the Bunsen-burner cooking in A Wrinkle in Time, continuing the YA fiction theme.  I can only imagine that this would do for lighting what that stove does for cooking i.e. make the magic.  For only about $50, I'm sold.  (We also have a few vintage kersosene lanterns around my Mom's house.  They don't burn clean, but when they're lit it's a really special occasion, and they make a great silver lining in any power outage).

I couldn't resist.  I don't know much about huskies, but I do know that they *are NOT for every home,* probably not for most dog-friendly homes, in fact.  The kind of dog that is comfortable pulling an arctic sled in a pack for hundreds of miles is a special, special breed.  They need a cooler climate, companionship, mental stimulation and a ton of exercise. That being said, here is a rescue organization for Siberian Huskies in Pennsylvania. (The pictures are from their site)  

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