If you've been reading my blog for a while you probably know that I'm obsessed with the Ojai Garden Tour.  If you've never heard of Ojai, it's a sleepy little town about an hour and a half north of Los Angeles, nestled between the Topatopa Mountains, and I love it.  I've been going on the Garden Tour for years on Mothers Day weekend and I look forward to it so much.  Last month I went online to buy my ticket and there was nothing. WHAT?!  I called the Chamber of Commerce and was told that the tour was cancelled this year, NOOO!  Apparently the massive amounts of rain we had ruined gardens and there were not enough people to volunteer their homes this year.  I was upset.  Really I was.  I sat at my desk thinking there was no coming back from this devastation. Yes, I'm overly dramatic, but still.  I needed a way to recover from this news.  And then I remembered the Pasadena Showcase Home.  I had never gone and I could go on Mothers Day!  I bought a ticket. 

My daughter and I are extremely close so Mothers Day is every day for me, and she was out of town, coming back in time for us to have dinner.  That gave me the day to myself.  And I really wanted to go to the design house alone.  When I told some of my friends they offered to go with and me.  I politely explained that I was going solo by choice not by default.  It was the ultimate Artist Date!  Browsing through an 11,000 sq. ft. mansion that looked like it was right out of Gone With The Wind, on 2 acres of gardens in Pasadena CA. 27 different interiors designers took over the house and each designed a different room.  Yes please.

If you have never heard of an Artist Date, it's a solo experience doing something you love by yourself.  The idea was created by Author Julia Cameron and described in her book The Artists Way.  And if you've never given yourself an Artist Date what are you waiting for?!

Going solo to an event like this means I can concentrate on taking photos, which I love to do.  I'll share some below, some, as in a lot. 

Speaking of solo dates, I recently came across my old collage journal and documentation of my very first solo date.  I was 20.  I went to a pub called Casper's that was right next to Nagler Hall, the dorm I lived in on 27th street when I went to FIT.  Students would hang out at the bar, but this night was different, this night I was going to ask for a table, all by myself and have dinner.  I got dressed up, I remember I was so nervous and I wrote three pages in the journal on how traumatizing it was when the hosted said "just one?" I was sitting in my kitchen reading those pages last week and howling with laughter.  Another beautiful thing about getting older, I love taking myself out to eat, having confidence, and not caring what other people think of me. AKA freedom!

I had a great time at the showcase home, they also had shops set up outside.  I had a lovely lunch in the garden.  And although none of the decor styles were my taste, I found something in every room that I liked.  Overall, I truly appreciated all of the thought that went into every aspect of the designs and the artistic details of every room.

And of course without a selfie, was I really there? 😜