Inspired By Dachas

Russian Dachas | wemadeithome.com

 

Urban living can be taxing especially in the Summer. It’s hot and smelly, and crime rates go up. I dream of having a Philly version of a Dacha. Dacha’s are country houses outside the cities of Russia where people escape to during the warmer months. They are traditionally pretty rustic with no plumbing or electricity and on less than .15 acres of land. But they are places where the working class are able to escape to the country, to grow their own food, and enjoy nature.

Who’s with me? Plot of land just off the regional rail line?

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Craigslist Miracle

Craigslist Miracles

I had been thinking about getting a new sewing machine. I was making leather baby booties for a craft show and my target special sewing machine was not cutting it. So I started looking on craigslist for possible options, industrial machines were $600+ and I couldn’t justify that investment. I thought that I would pray about it and wait. This would be a good time to mention that I have a weird theory on provisions that you can read here.

So I waited, and then a few weeks later we went on and adventure to Baltimore and I met a nice lady who had been making leather bags. She was showing me her set up when Jason pointed to the machine she was using. It was the exact same kind that we had sitting on our mantle for decoration. It was a machine that Jason had purchased for his Mom as a Christmas gift years before and we inherited it back when Jason’s Mom passed away. It turns out that it is a highly sought after sewing machine because it is so strong. I was so excited that we ALREADY HAD THE MACHINE I NEEDED!

There was a problem though, the machine was locked and not in usable condition. I took it to a sewing machine repair shop in Philly and they said that they could not fix it. I was starting to think that it wasn’t meant to be so I was perusing craigslist for similar machines. I found one that was beautiful, and when I inquired about it I was really disappointed to find out that it had been sold. I noticed the craigslist seller had a couple beautiful machines for sale so I asked where he had his machines serviced in hopes that I could find someone who could fix our sewing machine. It turns out that the seller was a retired sewing machine repair man and said he would take a look at our machine. I drove it to his house and he said no problem, fixed it for a deeply discounted rate and he found me an old antique solid walnut table that was designed for our exact machine. All of it made me so happy! I am so pleased that I will be able to use this machine that has sentimental value to my family to create new heirlooms. What a blessing!

I have so many stories like this! My new bike has it’s own weird story, as does this white shirt. They are provisions!

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WEEKEND ADVENTURES

Weekend Adventures | wemadeithome.com

 

I had such a nice weekend and wanted to share some of my favorite things with you.

  • Biking everywhere! I got a new road bike on craigslist and traveling the city this way has been a whole new world. Different parts of the city feel way more accessible.
  • I finally got the chance to visit the bulk vintage warehouse in Kensington. The place is HUGE with boxes and boxes of presorted vintage clothing on the cheap.
  • I had a the best bagel with cream cheese and home made strawberry and thyme jam from the Soup Kitchen.
  • Jason and I biked to Chinatown to check out this restaurant called Tasty Place. It’s in the corner of an underground grocery store. I like it because it’s so hidden and it feels like a secret. I’m also mildly obsessed with salt baked chicken wings with chili sauce. So good!
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FRIDAY

BrancusiI thought it would be nice to share some things that I have been enjoying recently.

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

  • This Song:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diFH3cDQCXE?hl=en"><img src="http://www.wemadeithome.com/wp-content/plugins/images/play-tub.png" alt="Play" style="border:0px;" /></a>

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TUTORIAL: SEWING A SIMPLE TOTE BAG

Sewing Tutorial: Simple Tote Bag | wemadeithome.com

I love simple tote bags. I use a leather variation of this everyday and I was inspired to make this canvas one for Spring when I found some great trim at my local closeout fabric store Jomar. This is a great beginner project with a little flair.

Trim | wemadeithome.com

Here are the materials that you will need:

How to Sew a Tote Bag | wemadeithome.com

  1. 1 piece of 34” x 15” cotton canvas fabric folded in half
  2. 2 pieces of 1-2 inch wide of trim
  3. 2 pockets cut out of your canvas fabric. I uploaded a pattern for you here.
  4. Straight Pins
  5. Fabric scissors
  6. Iron
  7. Sewing machine with matching thread

Here is the 3 minute video on how to make the tote:

Please let me know if you have any questions about the tutorial, your feedback is really valuable to me! You can e-mail me here.

You can also now subscribe to my youtube channel. Like We Made it Home on Facebook,  follow me on Instagram, or pinterest.

 

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MY FAVORITE PODCASTS

My Favorite Podcasts | wemadeithome.com

Podcasts are my favorite way to consume media. I love to listen to them as I work, and am always in search of new content. I use the podcast app on my iphone and download them from itunes. They are free, informative, and extremely entertaining. Here is a roundup of a few of my favorites. Please let me know what your favorites are too by commenting!

  1. AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN Fool proof recipes, interviews, product reviews, and your food questions answered.
  2. AFTER THE JUMP I love this podcast from Grace Bonney the creator of the Design Sponge blog. She interviews creatives and designers, talks about running a business, and lifestyle design.
  3. PLANET MONEY Economics made interesting.
  4. 99% INVISIBLE A great show about design in our everyday lives.
  5. JILLIAN MICHAELS This is why I love podcasts. It is quirky, informative, and entertaining and not at all what you would expect from a celebrity personal trainer. It feels like you’re listening in on a conversation in her living room, in a good way.
  6. THE SPLENDID TABLE Another great podcast on the world of food.
  7. 48 DAYS TO THE WORK YOU LOVE Question and answers with a career life coach.
  8. THIS AMERICAN LIFE First-person stories and short fiction pieces that are touching, funny, and surprising.
  9. DAVE RAMSEY Questions and answers about money. We followed his plan to pay off all of our debt including our house.
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Getting Going

Getting Going

I’m still figuring out how to best structure my unstructured time. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start on big projects, so I am trying to find ways to build momentum. I don’t want to waste this precious time because I have so many things that I want to get done. Here are some things that I have been doing to get started.

  • The state of your bed is the state of your head. This is a little mantra that I use to get started in the morning. Every morning I eat breakfast with Jason and then I make our bed and do the dishes. They are small victories that I can check off my to do list and get the ball rolling for the rest of the day. Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power of Habit, calls these keystone habits.
  • Make a list. I have to have very clear objectives of what I need to get done every day, so that I can think about the things that I need to do once and then go on autopilot getting those things finished.
  • Eat that Frog.  There is an old saying that if you eat a frog early in the morning nothing worse can happen for the rest of the day. It means that you should tackle the hardest thing on your to-do list first thing before you lose your will power. It makes your day immediately productive.
  • Have a uniform. I can not get things done in my pajamas. If I am tackling housework I need my sneakers on, and if I am doing freelance work I need comfortable real life outfits to get me into the right mind set for tackling a project. If I need to work out, the hardest part is putting on workout clothes, but that small first step helps me get going to tackle whatever I need to get accomplished. It really does help me get motivated.

Do you have any tricks you use to get started?

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