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Bungalow dreaming in Belmont Gardens

Musician Mazurka Wojciechowska's 1929 bungalow is full of accordions and eastern European art.

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When musician Mazurka Wojciechowska got into two car accidents in a single week in 2003, she knew something had to give. "Every time I would drive, I would imagine a big red bull's-eye on my car," she says. "Having gone down the spiritual path and studied metaphysics, I knew that was not the right way to think." Instead, she channeled her energy into positive thoughts that nurtured her heart's desire: a dream house. "I thought, I want a house with a garage. I want a backyard that I can drink a beer in legally. I want a bungalow built in the 20s, and stained glass." A year and a half later, she closed on a 1929 bungalow in Belmont Gardens.

"I love the neighborhood; I have great neighbors," she says. Another perk: she can practice playing accordion at all hours. (She owns five.) Wojciechowska is the accordionist for the German-American Euro Express Band; she plays at Klas Restaurant in Cicero; and she's a cast member of Kiss Kiss Cabaret burlesque—"I do not take my clothes off," she makes clear, "but I do play the accordion there." Speaking of clothes, Wojciechowska has lots of folk garb from her travels to eastern Europe. "When I perform," she says, "I like to wear authentic clothing."

Her house is also full of eastern European art—Russian dolls, shadow boxes, decorative plates. Interspersed throughout are loads of Simpsons figurines. Wojciechowska says she doesn't actively collect, but rather attracts things. "I'm in receiving mode," she says, "and stuff comes to me." This may be how she got her most prized possession: a stuffed armadillo. "As soon as I touched the box, I knew it was special. I opened it up and practically burst a blood vessel."

Wojciechowska advises that the quickest route to your dream house is picturing yourself in it. "I didn't just imagine myself lying in the bed or sitting in the backyard, but also writing out my checks for property taxes, mowing the lawn," she says. "Imagine yourself doing everything you would be doing in your own space that you love."

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