Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fire Making 101

fire making class new york

Last night we took over Tent & Trails, a cavernous woman-run outdoor outfitter in Lower Manhattan. The well-stocked store was an a gear junkies’ dream, complete with a knowledgeable staff who shared stories about climbing Everest without oxygen masks.

Between parkas and plenty of gore-tex jackets, we heard a fantastic lecture on the principles of fire-making by Rhett Godfrey, Loomstate's Sustainability Director. Luckily, the New York City Fire Department wasn’t called, even when Rhett carried live coals outside for a practical demonstration of ignition techniques!

fire making class new york

Some things we learned about fire-making without flint or matches:

  • There are three friction based methods, the hand drill, the bow drill, and the fire plow (check out this website for the knitty-gritty scoop).
  • Each method relies on a softwood spindle to create enough friction to produce an ember.
  • The goal is to create a coal that can then be ignited with a tinder nest, so no need to worry about setting your house on flames!
  • You need strong hands, lots of practice, and some stamina.
  • Even if you never start a fire while freezing in the tundra mid-winter (knock on wood), it’s a pretty sweet skill to learn.

fire making class new york

Post by Outdoor Fests Audrey Larkin. More articles and adventures by Outdoor Fest at outdoorfest.org. More classes by Loomstate coming this spring...sign up to find out!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Jar Oatmeal Recipe

Here's the solution to that disheartened "oh man I forgot breakfast :(" feeling when you jet out the door and settle into your morning commute. It takes a total of three minutes to throw together the night before and you will wake up with a healthy grab-n-go breakfast that is so cleanly packaged in a mason jar that your coworkers will think you paid big $ for.

1/2 c dry oats
1/2 c almond milk
2 T chia seeds
2 T maple syrup
1 t cinnamon
handful chopped almonds
handful blueberries

Toss in the dry ingredients, put the lid on and shake. Use a spoon to form a little valley for the syrup to settle into. Pour over the milk, add the blueberries on top and seal the jar. Keep it in your fridge until you're ready to head out in the morning.

A Total Look Inside

The Canvas Tote is straightforwardly our favorite. It has the easy, weekend tote bag look, with the functionality of a weekday work bag. Six deep pockets will get you super organized. No longer will your headphones get all tangled with your sneakers and power cord. Here's a deep dive into the tote bags of some Loomstaters (where few others have gone before).

100% organic cotton and available in two styles on the site >

Three words to describe the Loomstate tote...
Casual, comfortable, organized.
Where do you primarily use your bag? 
To work! It's the most professional looking of the tote world.
Little pockets are ideal for... 
Reusable coffee cup, umbrella, sunnies...anything I need to access easily.
Big pocket is ideal for...
Laptop and drawing pad.
I never leave home without my ___. 
Organic beanie! It's been a cold NY winter and my beanie has been key.
In Annie's Tote:
     -seashells - always have some in my pockets and bags
     -Field Notes is great for jotting down ideas on a long subway ride
     -sketch pad - for Drink n' Draw classes after work
     -oatmeal in a jar - my favorite breakfast, check out the recipe!
     -Oakley Frogskins
     -Loomstate Organic Cotton Beanie

Three words to describe the Loomstate tote...
Perfect, easy, spacious.
Where do you primarily use your bag?
As a carry on when traveling, also as an overnight bag to and from my boyfriend's apartment.
Little pockets are ideal for...
Keeping the little stuff separate and easy to find - headphones, umbrella, a book, bikinis, sunglasses.
Big pocket is ideal for...
Clothing, makeup bag, notepad, beach towel.
I never leave home without my....
Sunglasses, 2-3 types of lip stuff, my keys!
In Kelly's tote: 
     -cotton scarf - a gift from a good friend
     -Keihl’s in flight refreshing facial mist - essential oils + Tibetan ginseng
     -Best Made notebook - my everyday book for reminders
     -wooden turtle - a token from Nueda Vida de Ramiro in Tulum
     -How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley - great for a laugh
     -Nars lipstick in Jungle Red - a must have
     -Traditional Medicinals peppermint tea - my daily afternoon tea
     -Patrae zip pouch - made in NYC by my friend from Slovakian textiles
     -Micron pens: essential for sketching
     -fabric swatches for the next big inspiration
     -Oliver Peoples Corie tortoise sunglasses - best sunglasses ever :)

Three words to describe the Loomstate tote...
Durable, roomy, stylish.
Where do you primarily use your bag? 
Everywhere. For work, grocery shopping + to the gym.
Little pockets are ideal for...
Umbrella, water bottle, sneakers after workout.
Big pocket is ideal for...
I never leave home without...
Sunglasses, phone charger.
In Emmanuel's tote:  
     -James Baldwin's The Last Interview
     -God Loves Haiti - a different narrative on the 2010 Haiti earthquake
     -box of pins
     -measuring tape

Where do you primarily use your bag? 
I use this tote to go to the park and when I teach. I like to be over-prepared and carry a lot of supplies with me. 
Little pockets are ideal for...
Plants or sticks or unknown findings.
Big pocket is ideal for...
Binoculars, identification guides, and note books, a sweater, and a bottle of water (usually in this season it's a thermos).
I never leave home without...
My thoughts notebook and a pen.
In Rhett's Tote:
     -a tree identification book
     -fire by friction kit + kindling
     -Take-Sumi writing ink
     -seeds I found in the park

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Aww Muffin!

Nothing says I LOVE YOU like making your muffin some muffins. You can eat them in the process, so it's a painless DIY Valentine's Day gift. Here's one of our favorite recipes for pretty healthy muffins - we substituted the sugar and butter with honey and greek yogurt. They are definitely gluten-ful (an interesting substitute), but guilt-free. Have a sweet Valentine's Day! Love, Loomstate

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
1/4 cup almond milk
1 t vanilla
1 cup bananas, mashed
1 cup sliced strawberries, sliced
optional - add some flax seeds or protein powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F + gather ingredients 
strawberry banana healthy muffin recipe

Mix together all dry ingredients in one bowl
strawberry banana healthy muffin recipe

In another bowl mix together all wet ingredients, except the strawberries
strawberry banana healthy muffin recipe

Combine wet and dry batches
strawberry banana healthy muffin recipe

Fold in the strawberries
strawberry banana healthy muffin recipe

Spoon the batter into the muffin liners
strawberry banana healthy muffin recipe
Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until the toothpick comes out clean. Patience, grasshopper.

Smooooth Moves

This is a simple and healthy way to prep your love (or yourself) for a sweeet day, whether you're headed out on a random adventure (what else are weekends for?) or committed to cozying inside away from the cold (we're in New York, we get it).  We're all about this juicing and smoothie concept, so send over your recipes - customercare@loomstate.org and we will share our favorites here. Enjoy!
healthy strawberry cashew smoothie recipe magic bullet

healthy strawberry cashew smoothie recipe magic bullet
1 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup rolled oats 
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 greek yogurt
1 T maple syrup 
1 t vanilla extract 
1 t cinnamon
optional: protein powder or pnut butter

blend all ingredients til smooth (we used a Magic Bullet)
prop a strawberry on the edge for presentation ;)

Ultimate Last-Minute Valentine

Totally forgot about Valentine's Day? Got an old potato in your kitchen? You're set! What seems like the simplest and most childish gift, will get you extra points for being nostalgic and homemade. (You could opt for the dried pasta glued to a card technique). Needless to say, this is also a great Valentine's Day activity for kids (show them there's more to this day than cupcakes and chocolate). Our Creative Director's daughter Freya showed us with ease how it's done...

ink (Freya used acrylic paint)
a Valentine

slice the potato in half
carefully use knife to carve a design, the simpler the better
spread a thin layer of ink on a flat plate
dip the stamp or use a paintbrush to apply ink
stamp lightly

Here's another route you could take.  

Friday, February 13, 2015

A Berry Sweet DIY

natural berry tie dying
Here's the modern tie dying technique for this environmentally-minded generation and a perfect Valentine's Day activity for the fam. Grab some cotton threads (white is best), old berries and two pots. We chose to dye one of our organic cotton onesies with raspberries and strawberries, but there's a surprisingly long list of plants you can use as natural dyes.
natural berry tie dying
First, you'll have to soak the cotton in a salt bath (1/4 salt + 4 cups water) to prep it for the dye. Simmer the cotton and salt water mixture for one hour. In another pot simmer the sliced berries and water for about an hour - the mixture should be 1 part berry to 2 parts water. Strain out the solid berry matter (keep for baking or smoothies) and keep the liquid in the pot. 
 natural berry tie dying
Wring the cotton and rinse in cold water. You probably have a favorite tie dye technique from back in the day, so grab some rubberbands and go for it. We went with the accordion technique to end up with some wispy parallel lines on our onesie.
natural berry tie dying
 natural berry tie dyingnatural berry tie dying
natural berry tie dying
 natural berry tie dying
Now add your bundled cotton to the liquid in the pot and simmer for about an hour or until you reach the desired color. A longer method is leaving the cotton to soak overnight (which we opted for). Unravel, rinse in cold water and dry. Note that the dye will fade slightly over time. 
natural berry tie dying

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Mappy Hour is Heating Up!

Outdoor Fest's next Mappy Hour is going to be hot! Loomstate's Sustainability Director, Rhett, will present on wilderness survival skills with a focus on fire by friction (we'll be indoors so we can't technically start a fire - just learning the principles!). Join us for a night of survival talk, map fun, and beer.

When | February 24th, 2015 at 6:30PM
Where | Tent & Trails, 21 Park Place, Manhattan 
RSVP (for free!)