Tuesday 24 February 2015

'My Nest' Amy Symonds

This fortnights 'My Nest' is the Home of Galaxy Mountain Mama Amy Symonds. This home is another I have been drooling over on Instagram (calamitypasstradingco)for some time and I was so pleased Amy agreed to take part..... SO here are her 10 questions

Where do you live and what do you do for a living?

We live in an isolated cabin in the Colorado Rocky Mountains within a few miles of the Wyoming/Colorado border.

I am a wife, a mother, an artist.  I am the owner of Calamity Pass Trading Company where I make, curate and sell a rugged collection of western jewelry, bags, painted animal skulls and vintage goods, mostly online.

What attracted you to your current home

Oh soooo many things!! 

I grew up at a remote abandoned rock mine only about two miles from this cabin.  So when we first looked at it, I immediately felt I had come somewhat full circle.  It had the exact same unbelievable mountainous view from the living room window as my childhood living room had, and it had the same smell of sagebrush mixed in the wind.  It gave me the same feeling of soul stirring happiness that I had as a kid watching the circling hawks above the aspen trees that fluttered against the blue sky.  

In essence, This property gives me the same sense of freedom I have always had throughout my life, to run wild, to live outside of society and live close to nature instead.

Beyond emotion though, we loved the fact that with just a few adjustments, the cabin could go completely off (or on) the grid. This was an important aspect for my crazy-ass prepper husband!

I loved the skylights, the lofts and the sunshine.

I have always loved living in the woods, in places that were alternative and special. Like a crazy little cabin with a bathtub in the kitchen- or an antique railroad caboose with a hand made oil-drum wood-stove and a crooked porch. Places that have history and character….aaaand usually involved freezing treks to an outhouse.   I love that this property has that same pioneer feeling, as it is an historical mountain logging camp from the 1800’s. There are two very old homestead cabins in great shape on the property that we have been fixing up to accommodate guests.  The cabins are awesome, rugged, preserved relics of the American Wild West and are probably my favorite aspect of the property.  Aaaand yes, there is an outhouse (with a badass view!).
We also really liked that it is 23 acres surrounded by national forest and the independent lifestyle that kind of location can accommodate. I want a greenhouse, some more dogs, a sauna -and we’ll see about chickens!

How long have you lived there/ will you live there?

We have only lived here for about three months!  I plan to live here forever….forever!!!

What is your favorite/ most treasured item?

My most treasured item is a collection of my sister’s paintings.  They capture everything pagan and renegade we felt as girls growing up in the wild, and also encompass everything we dream to be as powerful, magical, earthy women. They add such contrasting element to my home with their striking colors and masterful textures against the logs.  They are very far away from the predictable elk-herd-western-landscape artwork you would usually find showcased in this style of home.

Where do you buy most of your furnishings

I have been trying not to buy, but instead, purge!  I collected so much stuff over the years from the attics of old local barns, things dug from forgotten dumps on ranches. I scavenged from Wyoming thrift stores and roadside yard sales on forgotten highways. Such cool stuff but I am so ready to simplify!

 Its been really freeing to actually edit and I’ve found an appreciation for how an emptier space can accent what you love- more than just cramming in more of what you love!  What I really love is: things from nature and relics that tell of western history with a little gypsy mama mixed in….old tiny bottles, an interesting tree stump as a coffee table,  found hellish looking cow skulls, a good beat up leather chair with handmade tapestry or piece of fur tossed into it’s lap.  I love letting the simple, aged architecture and weathering of the cabins be the focus, along with the view and the rugged surroundings of where we are.
 I have shopped, though! Not gonna lie! For key pieces.  It’s important to realize the long term value in investing in these and try not to second-guess it.  I try to buy from my favorite artists and avoid the manufactured crap that doesn’t add any soul to any space.  I’ve actually found so many amazing artists on instagram…I love the connections with others made possible there and the one of a kind creations I have been able to bring into my new home.

How would you describe your style?

 Galaxy Mountain Mama meets Rustic Bonfire Tramp meets Rogue Gypsy Queen. Ha! I don’t even know! But I guess that’s what I hope it is.

What or who inspires your home style and decision making when buying a new piece? 

I do it sometimes, but buying an actual new piece is very hard for me…like a couch or bedding, or whatever.  I’m more inspired when I can design from what I already have or something I can re-purpose.  It’s like an innovative two part puzzle of collecting things and then figuring out how and where to use them.   If you gave me an empty room, a huge budget and sent me to Ikea, I would have a decision–making, over-analyzing melt down!!

What and Where would be your dream home?

This is definitely it. Except I would have preferred old square logs instead of round in our new (to us) home (finicky bitch)…and…. I  kinda really wish there was a natural hot springs on the mountainside. Not much to complain about though! I feel very blessed to be here.

What was the last item you brought?

  We just bought a huge buffalo (head) mount for our living room. (remember I was justifying…for myself…investing in key items) It was a big decision.  It was hand made by an artist I know.  The area we live in was nicknamed the “Bullpen” by the Ute Indians who used to summer here.  They would come each year to harvest from the abundant buffalo herd that ascended to this high mountain plateau every year.  So I thought it was an iconic, spiritual, beautiful piece to add to our home. 

Any wish list items?

Yes! That Hot Springs! And as soon as it warms up I will be working on campfire circles for each cabin.   I think this will be one of the most fun projects I have in mind.  I am also hoping I will find the perfect spot for our Tipi and…. that’s where you’ll find me this summer!
A massive Thank You to Amy for showing us her beautiful cabin and taking the time to answer the 10 questions. 

If you have or know of a beautiful home that you think Moon to Moon readers would love please
#mynestmoontomoon on instagram or email me at moontomoon@live.co.uk


X said...

So cozy and beautiful. That stove! I collect my sister's paintings, too and I feel the exact same way about them. Great post!

Unknown said...

I follow Amy on Instagram. She seems like such an amazing lady, I love her style! Thanks for this post on her gorgeous cabin.