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For the third straight year, the Santa Barbara Independent presents its annual Homes & Gardens special section, a roundup of profiles, advice, and insight into what makes our developed and cultivated landscapes thrive. This year’s edition looks at a tiny home built by high schoolers, the history of adobe construction, how to make your yard look like Lotusland, and much, much more.

Down to a Fine Art

Name: Caitlin Fitch

Title: Creative Director

What’s your creative process? It involves a bit of research and then a whole lot of headphone time to get into the zone. I’m usually listening to an interesting podcast or David Byrne or something more embarrassing, like TLC.

Who are some of your favorite visual artists? They’re almost all photographers, since that’s where I cut my teeth. I’m a big fan of Graciela Iturbide, who photographs fringe cultures in Mexico; Larry Sultan, who photographed his aging parents with so much grace; the late, great Mary Ellen Mark, who should be revered by all budding storytellers; and of course, the king of all photographers, Elliott Erwitt.

In Print

Selected stories from our weekly newspaper.

Koalas in Our Midst

Santa Barbara Zoo Hosts Two of the Australian Natives

Santa Barbara Zoo hosts two of the adorable Australian natives. Read story.

Imagine Inventing Waves: Scott Claassen and His Ministry of Surfing and Spirit

UCSB Students Get Close to Creation on the Waves

UCSB Chaplain Scott Claassen, through his ministry of Surfing and Spirituality, helps connect UCSB students to the creation by riding the waves. Read story.

Isla Vista Chaplain Scott Claassen Runs a Ministry of Surfing and Spirit

UCSB Students Get Close to Creation on the Waves

Isla Vista Chaplain Scott Claassen connects UCSB students to the creation by riding the waves. Read story.

Burger Week 2018 Begins

Our Second Annual Celebration of America’s Favorite Food

It’s our second annual celebration of America’s favorite food. Read story.

Celebrating Summer Solstice

Longest Day of the Year Gets a Hero’s Welcome

The longest day of the year gets a hero’s welcome with parades, food, and fun. Read story.

Santa Barbara Channel Crossing 101

How to Kayak from the Mainland to Channel Islands National Park

How to kayak from the mainland to Channel Islands National Park. Read story.

Go Blue & Green in 2018

'Santa Barbara Independent’ Annual Adventure Guide to the Great Outdoors

The “Santa Barbara Independent” annual adventure guide to the great outdoors. Read story.

SCAPE’s Paintouts Bring Artists and Nature Together

Free Monthly Class Every Second Saturday Combines Fresh Air, Art Skills, and Camaraderie

Free monthly class every second Saturday combines fresh air, art skills, and camaraderie. Read story.

Blazing Trails with Los Padres Forest Association

Four Reasons Why You Should Volunteer in the Los Padres National Forest

Here are four reasons why you should volunteer to work in Los Padres National Forest. Read story.

The Cabanas Now Shading West Beach

Teresa Ramallo-Whalen Now Renting Beach Shacks on Santa Barbara Shoreline

Teresa Ramallo-Whalen now renting beach shacks on Santa Barbara shoreline. Read story.

What’s Up with Santa Barbara’s Front-Country Trails?

Why Popular Routes Remain Closed; Plus, Hiking News from Ojai

Why popular routes remain closed; plus, hiking news from Ojai. Read story.

Join the Sierra Club’s Los Padres Chapter

Find Adventure, Advocacy, and Amore with the Santa Barbara-Ventura Group

Find adventure, advocacy, and amore with the Santa Barbara-Ventura group. Read story.

Adventure for Hire 2018

Companies to Help You Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Check out these companies to help you enjoy the great outdoors. Read story.

Birdwatching at the Santa Rosa Island Research Station

Professor Allison Alvarado Teaches Ornithology to CSU Channel Islands Students

Professor Allison Alvarado teaches ornithology to CSU Channel Islands students. Read story.

The Black Dahlia Never Dies

The Unsolved Mystery of One of the 20th Century’s Most Sensational, Brutal Murders

The unsolved mystery of one of the 20th century’s most sensational, brutal murders. Read story.

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