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The Institute of Domestic Technology


A few days ago, on a whim, I decided to treat myself to a day of culinary adventure at The Institute of Domestic Technology. I’d been wanting to emerse myself in one of their classes, since the first time I read about them in the LA Times.


The Institute was established in 2011 and their mission is “to reignite the passion of how we make food, the ingredients we source and the farms on which they originate”. They provide classes, workshops, tours and events all centered around the domestic arts.


Although they hold classes and events at various locations, their headquarters are based out of the Mariposa Creamery on the grounds of the Zane Gray Estate in Altadena, CA, which is where I attended my day of classes.


Let me just say, I was captivated by the creamery goats. They were very friendly and curious. The one above, named Ice Cream, walked right up to everyone for some attention, or possibly a treat. They were completely adorable!


There are scattered plantings of edibles on the grounds of the estate. I noticed artichokes, rhubarb, citrus and nasturtiums, just to name a few.



It’s also home to a large flock of happy chickens wandering about…



And I loved the vines that climbed wildly up and over the top of the estates main house. It almost gave the feeling of being in another country and I appreciated the fact that the grounds were not neatly manicured like a theme park, but that the landscape seemed to be quite content to meander on it’s own.


Tomorrow, I’ll take you inside the creamery’s kitchen where our classes were held and show you what I made. To give you a hint, they focused on the staples of a healthy diet (or a well stocked pantry)…bread, jam, mustard, and chevre. And it was all delicious fun!



Santa Ysabel General Store


The Man and I decided to take a little road trip this past weekend. Things have been so busy and we were both looking forward to a getaway. A long drive in the country was the perfect escape.

One of the unexpected pleasures of road tripping is finding hidden gems along the way. Those places you don't intend to come across but are so glad you did.
The Santa Ysabel General Store is just such a place.



The adobe and wood frame commercial building was built in 1884. It had been a grocery, dry goods and feed store, a post office, and barber shop among several others. It was a vital business during the gold rush days of rural San Diego county. It was recently purchased by the Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) and has been restored to it's former glory.



They have stocked the shelves with the most wonderful items. From pantry staples and local honey to delicious teas and gourmet salts…their selection is top notch. I could tell they had a keen eye for quality products and fantastic packaging.





The wood stove in the center of the store was so charming. And I loved their piles of wood, evergreens and kindling ready to keep the fires burning.








The store is operated by the non-profit SOHO and the income received goes to the upkeep and preservation of the building and other projects. Adjoining the shop is the Backcountry Visitor Center which provides free guides and trail maps to local rivers, deserts and mountains.



If you're ever in the area, I hope you'll stop by for a visit. And if you can show your support by liking their Facebook page, I know they would be grateful.
I just love when people decide to take action to preserve the history and soul of their community. 

Santa Ysabel General Store
30275 Highway 78
Santa Ysabel, CA 92070
Open: Friday to Sunday 11-5 

Between posts you can find me on Instagram and FB.



San Francisco – Alameda Finds


Since I flew into San Francisco with only carry-on, I knew my shopping would be limited at the Alameda Flea Market. So I focused on a few small items I was needing for upcoming shoots and projects. I bought this bundle of air mail letters for $5.


And an envelope filled with vintage stamps for the same price.


I found these old watch makers tins and could think of lots of uses for them. So I picked out 6…only after trying to find all their lids scattered in the box.


With Christmas being in full swing in the publishing world, I couldn't pass up these vintage pipe cleaner candy canes. All for $2!


 And I did buy myself a few presents. I have a collection of these cuff bracelets made from antique sterling silver napkin rings. Whenever I wear them I always get compliments. People find them so unique and I love that almost no two are alike.



I also came across a very well made leather bucket bag and had to have it! I'm a sucker for leather bags and especially one with a simple shape.


These folding coat hooks come in handy for small spaces, like the back of a door or inside a closet for jewelry or scarves.


I knew my kitchen hand towels were running low. I think they wander off by themselves at my house. So I bought ten more antique German towels. They're my favorite because they wash up well, are super absorbant, and look nice in the kitchen.


I thought the old cash ledger below would make a great journal cover. I may give it to a friend since I'm terrible at journaling. And a dozen lace appliques for a project along with a brass number plate with a 15 on it. It's my favorite number…our wedding day!


With all the stuff I bought in Chinatown, I couldn't fit anymore in my luggage. But that's ok because the Rose Bowl is this weekend and it's just a short car ride away!
What have you found at the flea lately?