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A Visit To Casa Dolores In Santa Barbara

Mexican Art Armadillo

I had ridden my zippy purple beach cruiser  by Casa Dolores here in Santa Barbara quite a few times but never stopped in.  There’s a wall that surrounds the property and the gate was sometimes open but honestly I was never sure what the place was.  Then, during our August First Thursday celebration, Casa Dolores was one of the galleries on the venue.  What a hidden gem!  If you have any interest in Mexican art, this is the place for you.  I love it because it’s small enough to enjoy in an hour or so and everything is so colorful – the place makes your eyes dance.  Not only is the house full of  bits and pieces that make you want to explore every room but, bingo, there’s a garden too.  Our video, Inspiration For A Mexican Style Garden, was shot here a week after my first visit.  Obviously, it has not been my last.

Guadalupe Virgin

Casa Dolores, lady Bug Bag

There’s the LadyBug Bag resting in the hot summer sun under the Apple Cactus

Here’s a little bit of history for you.  The house was built in 1843 and it is the only two story adobe in Santa Barbara.  Casa Dolores was designated a historical landmark in 1971.   It is now owned by Linda Cathcart who purchased it to house her own personal collection of Mexican art.  Thanks Linda – I love all the media in paper, clay, wood, leather, glass, textile, ceramic and tin which span centuries.  And, the collection revolves so something new appears on a regular basis.  To add to its festive nature, workshops are offered, events take place and the property can be rented out.  And, admission is free.  yes, I said free!

Let’s start with garden.  You’ll see plants, pottery, a fountain and garden art just like you would find surrounding a typical Mexican home.

The Front Courtyard

Casa Dorlores front yard

Lucy at the entrance ready to go

Cereus peruvianus in bloomCereus peruvianus in bloom

The Back Garden

Mexican Style garden

Mexican garden figures

Cactus Pot

maxican pottery

Swan Pot The LadyBug ToolPouch is ready to jump into action

Mexican Art

Mexican Art

Mexican Art Sun

Casa Dolores Santa Barbara

Grape Vine

Lucy under the grape arbor

A Few Glimpses of What’s Inside the House

Maxican Art

Mexican Art

Mexican ArtThe legendary Mexican Calendar Girls

Mexican Art

Mexican Tiles Tiles chose & installed by the current owner

Mexican Art

Mexican Art

Mejican Art  Noche de brujas – witches & healers gather

Mexican Skirt China poblana skirt – sequins for days!

IMG_6257_newOaxacan armadillo

 So, if you ever visit our little city by the sea, be sure to put this on your list of things to see.  You could hop over to the Mission to see that beautiful structure as well as the Rose Garden in just a few minutes as well as the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Or, you could take a short 3 minute walk to State Street and enjoy a margarita or sangria to cap off your Mexican style afternoon.

Casa Dolores website.

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