There was a day when mass production was more about getting quality stuff to the masses, and less about the ability to make massive amounts of all things sans quality. In the 18th and 19th centuries, potters in Great Britain started producing Ironstone china to serve as a more durable, re-producable alternative to porcelain, and they did not skimp on good, solid quality. After all, it’s called stoneware, which means it’s made out of rock! And dinner tables the world over begged to stand beneath its weight.

It seems that through the 19th century Americans preferred the pure white Ironstone pieces. And it makes sense that we would opt for what was clean, strong, and classy, not to mention versatile enough to deck the rough wood of the farmhouse table and the soft elegance of the table-clothed dining room. Two centuries later, it is a special thing to share in a rich dining tradition with our predecessors, especially when we’re eating off the same plates.
-Written by Jonathan Allston





Hand crafted leather is unmistakable. It laughs in the face of the typical. It is art and endurance in the palm of your hand. Handle it. Sling it over your shoulder. This stuff gets better with use. And time. That’s just the truth–the tough-as-leather kind of truth.

Pictured:  Tanner Goods Folio and Bucheimer Mailman Bag, 1965

Los Poblanos


Where does the scent of lavender take you? To a Southwest sunset? To a field where you sit and feast on the beauty around you? To the comfort of a home that smelled richly of it? To the fragrance of a person you love?

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Stumptown Coffee Roasters

I’ve had the opportunity to drive by coffee farms in Kenya and watch the plants grow out of good earth and roll over green hills. I was thankful for that. This morning I ground some fresh coffee beans from Guatemala and brewed them to my liking while sunlight filtered through the green leaves that surround my house. I was thankful for that too. We recently got to visit Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Brooklyn, NY, and see firsthand how the link between production and consumption can bless the earth as much as her fruits bless us. Somehow, a knowledge of that link makes the coffee taste better. And that’s something to be thankful for too. Take a look at some pictures of our visit, and please consider this your invitation to try a little Stumptown and find one more thing to be thankful for.

- Jonathan Allston, We Took to the Woods

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Mast Brothers

It’s been said that people must be loved before they can be lovely. And, come to think of it, the same is true of chocolate. So, let me tell you a story. Two brothers bought a sail boat and started having adventures. They sailed to Madagascar, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Ecuador. They bought exotic cacao from family farms and journeyed back to New York Harbor. They made chocolate with their friends in Brooklyn. They loved and nurtured every bean, turned the beans into chocolate bars, and hand-wrapped the bars in golden foil and ornamental paper. Then they sent their chocolate to We Took to the Woods, and you came in and ate some of it, and you knew once and for all and for good and forever that loved things become lovely—even chocolate. Mast Bros. Chocolate is available now at We Took to the Woods. This is a good story to be a part of.

A few photos of our recent visit to Mast Brothers:

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