Our family's journey to the heart of a handmade life

Old at heart

Old at heart
Over the past few years, I have become increasingly interested in the homemade life. Creating and maintaining a household using old-fashioned, time-honored techniques and handmade items is such a satisfying experience. I think my slight obsession with the 30s, 40s, and 50s helped in that regard. Not only do I love the music, movies, and fashion of that period, but also the culture, the hard-working home, and the wife’s role of ‘domestic engineer.’ (See June Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver or Laura Petrie from The Dick Van Dyke Show). Many pessimists like to say these women were sheltered, unambitious, and possessing “no skills outside of the kitchen.” I believe those people simply bought into the movement of the times, need to justify their own dissatisfaction with choosing to maintain a career instead of their home and children, or are just plain ol’ naysayers. But I digress. They may have relished modern advancements and time-savers, but I think The Cleavers and The Petries had it pretty darn good, and I intend to get as close to that ideal as possible.
Recently, I made my first batch of liquid laundry soap. The process was simple and super fast; the whole thing really exceeded my expectations. It made me realize, though, that making food from scratch is only the beginning- there is a whole world of homemaking projects out there to explore. It isn’t just cooking and baking that interest me- it’s the before and after, the in-between, the cause and effect. It’s breaking everything down, seeing how much of it can be homemade, the foundation underneath it all. Laundry detergent is just the tip if the iceberg. I want to make soap and green cleaners, knit sweaters, and finally figure out how to use my sewing machine. I want to garden and keep chickens, maybe live off the grid. Creating a ‘from scratch’ home is arduous but deeply rewarding work, and I love what I’ve already started. It is also a rabbit hole, though, easy to fall into but hard to keep direction. I want this blog to reflect my true interests and to serve as my guide, keeping track of my path, what I learn and discover.

So without further ado, I present to you Grace & Gusto- a young woman’s journey through the dismantling of modern culture, learning from scratch, and reconstructing a homemade world with vintage appeal.

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