Have y'all checked out Chickpea? The Winter 2015 Issue just landed on our doorstep and we're in love with their recipes for DIY teas, nourishing meals, and cookbook gatherings. That, and Loam has a sweet feature on hosting a zero-waste celebration to share!
Order a copy here (we love to support our fellow indie magazine makers) and check out an excerpt from our article below.
We use a lot of electricity during winter—to keep the day burning hours after the sun has set, to warm our wet socks, to heat the house. The Winter Solstice is a ripe opportunity to unplug. Turn off the lights and gather together every blanket you’ve got. Penguin huddles and pillow forts are pretty sweet this time of year.
Set candles cradled in glass votives in clusters throughout the room. Keep open flames far from potential triggers: bundled blankets, a tipsy friend. And take the time to relish the beauty bound in this soft-lit space—we’re so often surrounded by blaring artificial light in winter that the opportunity to settle into darkness is a rare gift.
Tackling a creative project can brighten a housebound winter day. Below, Adriana Moreno of PDX textile company Moonshadow Goods shares a recipe for giving well-loved natural fibers fresh life with an onion skin dye. Adriana’s gorgeous plant-based prints are proof positive that working with what you have works wonders.
HOW TO: ONION SKIN DYE
What you’ll need:
• Plenty of yellow onion skins. The more the better! (Every trip to the local market is an opportunity to gather some onion skins).
• Natural fabric or fibers (i.e.. cotton, silk, wool, felt, wool yarn)
• Large pot. Stainless steel is preferred. I would recommend a pot that you don’t use for cooking food.
• Heat source (e.g., stove, hot plate, propane stove)
• Wooden spoon
• Bucket for rinsing
• Gloves are optional
• Fill your pot with the onion skins before adding enough water to submerge the skins. Leave some room for your fabric.
• Boil the skins uncovered for 1 hour. Stir a few times throughout the hour.
• Although it isn’t necessary I like to let the onion skins steep overnight. This produces more vivid colors.
• Optional step: Make fun patterns by folding, wrapping and tying fabrics in different ways.
• Soak your natural fabric in clean, warm water for at least 45 minutes. (I like to soak my fibers for about 2 hours.) Soaking your fabric allows the fibers to dye evenly.
• Strain the onion skins from the bath.
• Add wet fabric to the bath. With the fabric in the bath, bring it back to a boil for 1 hour. Keep an eye on the bath and stir to release any air bubbles from within the fabric.
• Let the fabric steep in the dye bath overnight to yield more saturated colors.
• The next day, remove your fabric from the dye bath and rinse with cold water until the water runs clean. Three to four rinses should do.
• You can put your used onion skins into compost or mix them into soil. You can also use the dye bath and rinsing water to feed outdoor plants, ensuring nothing goes to waste.
Hang your newly dyed fabric to dry and voila!
THE LITTLE THINGS
So much of party planning is about disposability: plastic plates and paper napkins, balloons built to burst. Getting together with friends should be fun and cheap and easy, and that means working with what you have rather than shopping for soon-to-be trash.
Mix and match tableware. Repurpose a cutting board as a serving plate. If you don’t have enough cups and cutlery for the crowd, buy biodegradable forks that will mix in with the compost and reuse rinsed almond butter and jam jars to serve drinks in. Cloth napkins are as beautiful as they are sustainable (especially if treated with Adriana’s onion skin dye).
With so much gorgeous food to go around, you won’t need much in the way of centerpieces. I love using celebrations, however, as an excuse to play around. Nicole’s mama layers glass bowls with dried beans. Vibrant cups of orange lentils bring warmth to the room—and you can make a hearty stew out of the beans the next day.