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The Hidden Art of Homemaking

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The author reveals the many opportunities for artistic expression that can be found in ordinary, everyday life.


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The author reveals the many opportunities for artistic expression that can be found in ordinary, everyday life.

30 review for The Hidden Art of Homemaking

  1. 5 out of 5

    Inder

    Okay, I can admit when I'm wrong. Not only shouldn't you judge a book by its cover (or the info on the back), but you shouldn't judge a book by its first chapter, even when it's basically one long sermon. This book on "homemaking" is definitely not what I expected. For one thing, it's not really sexist. The author believes that both men and women can benefit from "keeping" a beautiful home, surrounding themselves with beauty, and encouraging creativity in themselves and others. Creating a home w Okay, I can admit when I'm wrong. Not only shouldn't you judge a book by its cover (or the info on the back), but you shouldn't judge a book by its first chapter, even when it's basically one long sermon. This book on "homemaking" is definitely not what I expected. For one thing, it's not really sexist. The author believes that both men and women can benefit from "keeping" a beautiful home, surrounding themselves with beauty, and encouraging creativity in themselves and others. Creating a home wherever you are, whatever is happening in your life, is a major theme, as is using artistic expression to stay engaged in life even when you're stuck in a job you don't enjoy or at home with squalling babies. She does advise discontented housewives to treat keeping house as though it were a "career," express their creativity in their work as much as possible, and get everything they can out of it (expressing yourself is, obviously, always good advice); but she also specifically addresses the way single working men and women can create rich home and community experiences, and there is no tone of judgment in her lovely prose. Really, this is a book about getting the most out of life, no matter what happens. Bored with your job? Get working on that macrame! I kid, but I can't help but agree that creativity and craft are great ways to fight our culture's obsession with plastic newness, and our alienation from the fruits of our labor. Seriously, although I do not believe that women's ONLY place is in the home, I do believe that "keeping a home" is a hugely important to the sanity and happiness of human beings. In the end, I agreed with this book FAR more than I disagreed with it. Sure, it's a Christian manifesto about the sanctity of family and home, but it's far from the damning diatribe you'd expect. It's a really sweet book in a lot of ways, and I found it oddly inspiring and resonant.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bambi Moore

    This one gets five big, fat, GOLD stars. I have no idea why I let it sit on my shelf unread for so many years. Perhaps because you must get past the first chapter to get to the meat of this book (although the first chapter is essential for the framework of the rest of the book.) You don't have to mine The Hidden Art for nuggets, it's spilling over with pure gold. Like others, I do make mention that the title can be misleading if one views the word "Homemaker" as synonymous with "stay-at-home-mom This one gets five big, fat, GOLD stars. I have no idea why I let it sit on my shelf unread for so many years. Perhaps because you must get past the first chapter to get to the meat of this book (although the first chapter is essential for the framework of the rest of the book.) You don't have to mine The Hidden Art for nuggets, it's spilling over with pure gold. Like others, I do make mention that the title can be misleading if one views the word "Homemaker" as synonymous with "stay-at-home-mom." This book is for both genders, single or married, full-time "housewife" or not. Warning: May induce desires to hug your family tighter, ask God for help in the details of life in order to display his glory more fully, iron your tablecloth, create a written masterpiece that's useful to others, and finally, throw your smartphone off a bridge. The last chapter ended too abruptly for my taste, I feel she needed to let us down a little more gently.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Mundie

    After I read this many years ago, I have continued to re-read portions of it time and again. I love the basic premise that we all have some type of creative talent, since the ultimate Writer/Musician/Painter/Sculptor, etc. made us in his image. Schaeffer urges us to discover and t nurture these gifts and to weave them into our everyday lives as ways to create home and family. She urges us those of us who have not achieved widespread recognition of our art not to be intimidated, but to use our sk After I read this many years ago, I have continued to re-read portions of it time and again. I love the basic premise that we all have some type of creative talent, since the ultimate Writer/Musician/Painter/Sculptor, etc. made us in his image. Schaeffer urges us to discover and t nurture these gifts and to weave them into our everyday lives as ways to create home and family. She urges us those of us who have not achieved widespread recognition of our art not to be intimidated, but to use our skills in whatever spheres that we can. I love the way she helps us see God's art in our surroundings and supports our own journeys to express the art that he has placed in us. This book was written many years ago, before the computer and the Internet opened up even more venues for artistic expression in daily life. Her book can be a springboard to even greater thinking in this area. I also like that she reminds us that we have a mission that is greater even than expressing our talents. She does put all of this in its proper perspective.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    G.K. Chesterton once offered this strange celebration of homemaking: it allows a person to pursue all their second-bests. That is, rather than pursue a career in ONE thing, focusing all energy on being the best at that ONE thing, a homemaker has the privilege of getting to develop lots of skills and be mediocre at them all. I really didn't know how to love being a homemaker until Chesterton offered me that gift of insight. Schaeffer offers the same gift: you can use the very ordinary routines of G.K. Chesterton once offered this strange celebration of homemaking: it allows a person to pursue all their second-bests. That is, rather than pursue a career in ONE thing, focusing all energy on being the best at that ONE thing, a homemaker has the privilege of getting to develop lots of skills and be mediocre at them all. I really didn't know how to love being a homemaker until Chesterton offered me that gift of insight. Schaeffer offers the same gift: you can use the very ordinary routines of your life to live creatively, as God intended you to live. That hefty word "homemaking" weighs down this title, but the emphasis ought to be on "hidden art." Because really, that is what Schaeffer advocates most of all: finding opportunities to bring art to life only for oneself or the small audience of people that you share a home with. In each chapter, she offers suggestions (examples from both hypotheticals and personal practice) for adding a touch of beauty, creativity, whimsy, delight, spontaneity to some arena of daily life. I've often wondered if we all don't feel an inclination towards one or more forms of art. Do even the most practical among us carry secret ambitions or talents for creative work? Schaeffer believes we do, and she calls out all the various ways our inclinations can be used right here, right now. Perhaps it is the internet era that has tempted us all to thing that we choose careers we are passionate about or pursue our passions until they become careers. Perhaps the ease of publicizing our work makes it feel small to produce art only for the joy of creating it and sharing it with a few loved ones. To each of us, Schaeffer says: "People so often look with longing into a daydream future, while ignoring the importance of the present. We are all in danger of thinking, 'Some day I shall be fulfilled. Some day I shall have the courage to start another life which will develop my talent', without ever considering the very practical use of that talent today in a way which will enrich other people's lives, develop the talent, and express the fact of being a creative creature." If you're an aspiring anything, Schaeffer offers the invitation you may have been waiting for: Well, okay! I can start today! I can find opportunities to communicate through the forms of art that stir my own soul. I've been noticing a trend in publishing lately: if your life is lacking, try liturgy! But I like Schaeffer's prescription even better. Make art! Cultivate talents or interests into something that can be shared! I'm using a lot of exclamation points because Schaeffer's tone is rather direct. Brace yourself. She can be a little preachy or idealistic. But she's right, I think. I took her words very much to heart, especially these: "If you feel you have an unrecognized talent for writing or if you simply love to write and want to do it, my advice is to write. But write without ambitious pride, which makes you feel it is a 'waste' to write what will never be published. Write to communicate with someone, even if it is literally only one person."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Silvia Cachia

    Brilliant principle at hand, not particularly impressive expansion of the principle, with somehow unique to her practices that expressed the premise of the book. It was less impacting that I had anticipated. I sold my copy. Not one of those books that marks you beyond the title. I wish another person would write a different book with the same title, THE HIDDEN ART OF HOMEMAKING! It can be a solid book in the hands of someone more capable.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I was hesitant when I first opened the book, thinking it would be too dated in it's content and too burdensome in feeling the need to "do it all". But I was so pleasantly surprised! The author's writing style was encouraging and her ideas were small and practical. I have already enjoyed finding new ways to add beauty and creativity into our home and everyday life with the inspiration of this book! Favorite Quotes: "This book is about ‘Hidden Art’, and the need of people who are in communication I was hesitant when I first opened the book, thinking it would be too dated in it's content and too burdensome in feeling the need to "do it all". But I was so pleasantly surprised! The author's writing style was encouraging and her ideas were small and practical. I have already enjoyed finding new ways to add beauty and creativity into our home and everyday life with the inspiration of this book! Favorite Quotes: "This book is about ‘Hidden Art’, and the need of people who are in communication with the Creator to recognize their creative abilities and fulfill some of their talents in day-by-day life...What I am talking about means taking our responsibilities and our capabilities seriously. It means feeling that our ability to do things should be used in some way to make family life fun, and to enhance the relationships of people living together. To do this means working at it. A good marriage does not just fall out of a tree, by itself. A good family life and understanding, warm, rich, happy relationships within a family do not just spring up without someone working at it, someone who is not putting himself or herself first." "A child in a Christian home should connect being in communication with the Creator God with having been made creative, in His image. Rather than creativity being squashed out, it should be enhanced and developed because of being brought up in a Christian home not in spite of it!" "Surely each person who lives in an ‘interior’ of any sort should realize that ‘Interior Decoration’ is the first opportunity to bring forth ‘Hidden Art’, in some small measure. And for the Christian who is consciously in communication with the Creator, surely his home should reflect something of the artistry, the beauty and order of the One whom he is representing, and in whose image he has been made!" "Indeed, the memory of even short-lived beauty makes it worthwhile to take time and energy to provide a background of beauty for the human relationships developing in your home." "That added touch of beauty, extra bit of work, the imaginative creative cooking, if done by the Christian with a conscious love for the Lord, is not only helpful to the individuals for whom we are cooking, but is accepted by the Lord as having been done for Him. How can it be anything but important, and utterly worthwhile?"

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Schrecengost

    A must read for every woman no matter what stage of life she is in.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Megan Oldland

    I love all of the inspiration that is offered in this book. It is a great reference to just pick up and read whatever subject you are looking to start or enhance.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Schultz

    I loved it!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I don’t remember where I first saw this book, but I was intrigued. The Hidden Art of Homemaking? Sign me up! Of course, Edith Schaeffer isn’t really talking about a secret to managing your home, although I wish there was a secret or at least an “easy” button. But the idea of “hidden art” is interesting. When Schaeffer says “hidden art” what she means is “the art which is found in the ‘minor’ areas of life. By ‘minor’ I mean what is involved in the ‘everyday’ of anyone’s life, rather than his care I don’t remember where I first saw this book, but I was intrigued. The Hidden Art of Homemaking? Sign me up! Of course, Edith Schaeffer isn’t really talking about a secret to managing your home, although I wish there was a secret or at least an “easy” button. But the idea of “hidden art” is interesting. When Schaeffer says “hidden art” what she means is “the art which is found in the ‘minor’ areas of life. By ‘minor’ I mean what is involved in the ‘everyday’ of anyone’s life, rather than his career or profession. Each person, I believe, has some talent which is unfulfilled in some ‘hidden area’ of his being, and which could be expressed and developed” (31). Everyone has a gift, some talent, that they can use to enrich their lives, home, and the lives of others around them. She goes on to say that when we don’t use those gifts in our everyday life it can have negative effects on the way we view ourselves and others. The book contains many useful and practical suggestions for using our own hidden art. Some chapters are music, interior decorating, gardening, food, drama, clothes, flower arranging, and painting among others. I liked how Schaffer continued to emphasize throughout the book that it is not practical to attempt to do everything. She reminds the reader that we are finite creatures who are limited by choice, (often) talent, and resources and are not expected nor should we expect ourselves to pursue every area of ‘hidden art’ there may be. That I think is the ultimate take-away from The Hidden Art of Homemaking. Pursue your talents, your dreams. Don’t wait until the “right” time presents itself and everything is aligned. Start something today, whatever desire you have milling around in your head. If you want to plant a garden, but live in an apartment begin with a container garden. If you want to write, pick up and start writing whether you have a story mapped out or not. Just do something. “The only way to start, is to start.”

  11. 5 out of 5

    RF

    This is quite possibly my favorite book. It encourages me to use my creativity in all aspects of life and to take pleasure in simple acts of beauty. Being a homebody type person, I resonate with the art of homemaking and how it is a vital part of making a place HOME - warm, beautiful, hospitable, and marked by the things we love. In our frantic time, it is indeed a losing art to take time for the thoughtful preparation of things like meals. Also - for those of you interested in Everyday Theology This is quite possibly my favorite book. It encourages me to use my creativity in all aspects of life and to take pleasure in simple acts of beauty. Being a homebody type person, I resonate with the art of homemaking and how it is a vital part of making a place HOME - warm, beautiful, hospitable, and marked by the things we love. In our frantic time, it is indeed a losing art to take time for the thoughtful preparation of things like meals. Also - for those of you interested in Everyday Theology, ordinary things have great importance. As Mother Teresa said, "little things with great love." I highly highly recommend this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Susanna Paul

    Interesting to read a homemaking book that is literally 50 years old. Each chapter was a good reminder of things that I generally already believed or knew, but I especially appreciated the way she talked about family life. Her world overflowed with creativity, imagination, generosity, and all ages "hanging out" together and enjoying each other all the time. Definitely some good things to strive for.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kellyn Roth

    I found it really boring. Oftentimes the writer would go on describing things (flowers, clothing, food) for paragraphs upon paragraphs on end when a few sentences would have done the job nicely. The book really suffered from that.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jane Ellen

    This book wasn't at all what I expected it to be, but it was certainly a pleasant, worthy, easy read. The first two chapters are the meat of the book, where Schaeffer sets up her thesis: we are made in the image of an Artist, a Creator, and therefore, image-bearing necessitates intentional pursuit of beauty and creativity. The rest of the book takes different forms of art or aspects of life and shows how everyday Christians can put that idea into practice in even the most hidden, simple ways. Ou This book wasn't at all what I expected it to be, but it was certainly a pleasant, worthy, easy read. The first two chapters are the meat of the book, where Schaeffer sets up her thesis: we are made in the image of an Artist, a Creator, and therefore, image-bearing necessitates intentional pursuit of beauty and creativity. The rest of the book takes different forms of art or aspects of life and shows how everyday Christians can put that idea into practice in even the most hidden, simple ways. Our lives and art do not have to be great, but in order to fulfill one significant part of our calling as creatures made in the image of God and in order to minister effectively to all the other image-bearers we share life with, we must hold beauty and the mundane pursuit of it as essential to our duties, not peripheral or even, as some Christians suggest, sinful. Easy one to read a chapter here and there to gain ideas. Every now and then she would have a real "zinger" paragraph that was worth meditating on.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lara

    Wow, wow, wow. This book encouraged me so much, coming into my life at a time when I was doubting whether I should care so much about aesthetics in everyday life. Schaeffer does an excellent job of defending the purpose of art and aesthetics and beauty in the life of a Christian: “a Christian, above all people, should live artistically, aesthetically, and creatively. We are supposed to be representing the Creator who is there, and whom we acknowledge to be there... if we have been created in the Wow, wow, wow. This book encouraged me so much, coming into my life at a time when I was doubting whether I should care so much about aesthetics in everyday life. Schaeffer does an excellent job of defending the purpose of art and aesthetics and beauty in the life of a Christian: “a Christian, above all people, should live artistically, aesthetically, and creatively. We are supposed to be representing the Creator who is there, and whom we acknowledge to be there... if we have been created in the image of an Artist, then we should look for expressions of artistry, and be sensitive to beauty, responsive to what has been created for our appreciation.” She offers a wide collection of wonderful, specific ideas for how to put this into action in the realms of music, painting and sketching, interior design, gardening, flower arranging, cooking, writing, drama, what she calls “creative recreation,” clothing, and environment. Yes, some of her ideas are a little extra/silly, but for the most part I was nodding along in delight. She also does a great job grounding all of this in Scripture. It strikes me as a very Calvinist reading of Creation—the world is God’s stage, and everything is at hand for artistic inspiration and creation. As I look forward to parenting, this book has given me so many ideas for being a creative, artistic, Gospel-loving mom. Can’t wait!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    For years, I've heard my mother quote from this book, and tell us, her daughters, how much she was influenced by reading Edith Schaeffer and hearing about L'Abri. Sometimes she would write little notes to herself on her "to do" lists about L'Abri, the Christian outreach founded by Francis and Edith Schaeffer nestled in the picturesque Swiss Alps. I've wanted to read the book myself for some time now, and finally did this past week. I love seeing where my mother developed her philosophy of the ho For years, I've heard my mother quote from this book, and tell us, her daughters, how much she was influenced by reading Edith Schaeffer and hearing about L'Abri. Sometimes she would write little notes to herself on her "to do" lists about L'Abri, the Christian outreach founded by Francis and Edith Schaeffer nestled in the picturesque Swiss Alps. I've wanted to read the book myself for some time now, and finally did this past week. I love seeing where my mother developed her philosophy of the home, especially in relation to aesthetics, and thinking about how she was exactly the same age when she read it as I am now. Edith Schaeffer's conversational and informal style feels just like conversing with an older woman of the faith as you work together, listening as she shares her wisdom and personal anecdotes from her life, both past and present. Sharing the refreshing originality and thoughtfulness she pours into the everyday lives of her family, she inspires homemakers in what I believe to be a lost idea in our humanistic, post-industrial, utilitarian age: a return to viewing even the seemingly unimportant and mundane tasks of homemaking as an expression of living all of life in light of Christianity. Because we have grown accustomed to labeling things as either "spiritual" or "non-spiritual" we have stripped the meaning and spiritual significance from material things and everyday tasks. As she applies this to homemakers specifically, she shows how God is a Creator, and humans, made in his image, should be as well. As Christians, she exhorts, we ought to be "the most creative people" out there. We are free to take captive every sphere as a part of our Lord's creation. She encourages even those who are single or still living at home to put care into the little things of life, because these things are not meaningless. Behind the written words in Edith's inspiring book is a deeper and more important understanding: that as Christians operating within a Biblical worldview and living in the world that God created, we ought to view even the most menial and mundane parts of life as a part of "total truth", God's truth. The little things do matter, and homemaking is a place where we can showcase the permeation of a biblical worldview in our homes- from the cut flowers to the live music; from the creative use of up-cycling old furniture to nutritious home cooking. It all embodies an unspoken truth: that God is the creator of beauty and order. As his ambassadors, we can showcase the all-encompassing beauty of the Christian reality to a lost and lonely world. This is honing our talents for the glory of God. This is ministry to our families. This is evangelism. This is Total Truth. I have come away from Edith's book with a fresh perspective on homemaking, and a renewed vision for the real significance it has. Edith's infectious enthusiasm about the tiniest details, and making things special even for the smallest children (yet with little or no cost and very little time or preparation needed) is exciting. So often, it's easy to get lost in the idea that "the work is never ending", and I am tempted to think it doesn't matter whether such-and-such gets done today, or whether I created that centerpiece and lighted that candle. But it DOES matter. It matters to the aesthetic atmosphere of the home, and it matters to our Lord who sees our every effort to showcase His created beauty and order, even in the little things. ________________________________ Here are a few of my favorite excerpts from the book to whet your appetite... "It seems to me that whether it is recognized or not, there is a terrific frustration which increases in intensity and harmfulness as time goes on, when people are always daydreaming of the kind of place in which they would like to live, yet never making the place where they do live into anything artistically satisfying to them. Always to dream of a cottage by a brook while never doing anything to the stuffy house in the city is to waste creativity in this very basic area, and to hinder future creativity by not allowing it to grow and develop through use." pg 66 "Interior decoration is not just one's artistic efforts, but it is that which your home (even if it is just a room) is. If you are 'decorating' with clothes draped on every chair, with scratched and broken furniture- it is still your interior decoration! Your home expresses *you* to other people, and they cannot see or feel your daydreams of what you expect to make in that misty future, when all the circumstances are what you think they must be before you will find it worthwhile to start. You *have* started, whether you recognize that fact or not! We foolish mortals sometimes live through years not realizing how short life is, and that TODAY is your life." pg 76 "I often advise young brides who are traveling during their first weeks or months of marriage to start "homemaking" in a hotel, even if they are there for only a night, rather than groaning about having to "wait so long to have a home". How? ...Your own cloth, your own candlestick, just one rose or daffodil is enough to make a difference... You will be surprised how much difference it makes to have done something to make a room your home, even for one night." pg 78 "If you *stop* putting off homemaking until your hope of marriage develops into a reality, and *start* to develop an interesting home right now, it seems to me two things will happen: first, you will develop into the person you could be as you surround yourself with things that express your own tastes and ideas; and second, as you relax and become interested in areas of creativity, you will develop into a more interesting person to be with." pg 82

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    It gave me a new perspective and a few ideas about how to change mundane things into something beautiful and creative.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sally Ewan

    For years, I have pondered this question: if guests come, should you put out your nicest towels, to indicate your delight at their partaking of your hospitality, or just put out your regular (clean!) towels, to indicate that you honor the relationship and are viewing them as family? I believe that Edith Schaeffer would put out the nicest towels, AND she'd put them in a handwoven basket, along with some lovely soaps she'd made with her children and some flowers she'd dried by hanging them from th For years, I have pondered this question: if guests come, should you put out your nicest towels, to indicate your delight at their partaking of your hospitality, or just put out your regular (clean!) towels, to indicate that you honor the relationship and are viewing them as family? I believe that Edith Schaeffer would put out the nicest towels, AND she'd put them in a handwoven basket, along with some lovely soaps she'd made with her children and some flowers she'd dried by hanging them from the rustic hand-hewn beams of her home. And she'd greet the guests with a smile and be calm and relaxed, too! The first time I read this book, I was just starting out as a homemaker, and I was intrigued by the ideas presented. Fast-forward to modern times, and I read it a second time with a mental scorecard in mind: did that, check. Didn't do that, shame on me. Should have made housework more fun--think Maria von Trapp. Perhaps I'll do better with the grandchildren, God willing! I love the idea of intentionally creating beauty and celebrating beauty in everyday life. Though leathercraft is beyond me, I like the nudge to be more intentional about these things!

  19. 5 out of 5

    polly

    Well. I love this book. I'll always be *currently-reading* it because it is studded with gems. Schaeffer is an inspiring writer who emphasizes the importance of living creatively to honor our Creator. Lots of cute anecdotes from her past, lots of inspiring ideas on family life/domestic living. I love reading a book that doesn't draw a portrait of domestic life as a dreary round of dusting and toilet-cleaning. This book is about music, art, gardening, food, etc--creating things--and is rich with Well. I love this book. I'll always be *currently-reading* it because it is studded with gems. Schaeffer is an inspiring writer who emphasizes the importance of living creatively to honor our Creator. Lots of cute anecdotes from her past, lots of inspiring ideas on family life/domestic living. I love reading a book that doesn't draw a portrait of domestic life as a dreary round of dusting and toilet-cleaning. This book is about music, art, gardening, food, etc--creating things--and is rich with respect for domestic life. It's also not geared only to women--she notes that she knows men who knit and sew...and why not?!!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Asriel

    In this short, delightful, and sometimes rambling book, Edith Schaffer dives into the hidden artist in us all and extracts beauty from the every day. We all make art - with everything around us. Highly recommend for those looking to make the mundane sparkle and to paint with their own brush the canvas of life.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    I really loved this book. Lots of practical and inspiring encouragement and ideas for making your home/life a place of beauty and creativity, and the reasoning that as Christians, we should be some of the most creative people, since our Father is the Creator of everything. The last chapter talks about environment - the environment we create in how we live and what we do. What do we show and model to those around us? On not stifling creativity, but doing what we can, even in small ways, wherever w I really loved this book. Lots of practical and inspiring encouragement and ideas for making your home/life a place of beauty and creativity, and the reasoning that as Christians, we should be some of the most creative people, since our Father is the Creator of everything. The last chapter talks about environment - the environment we create in how we live and what we do. What do we show and model to those around us? On not stifling creativity, but doing what we can, even in small ways, wherever we are. I really enjoyed reading it, and I think I'll want to read it again sometime. Good, practical, creative, thoughts... and ties in hospitality a well as doing things with purpose, love and joy - not being stuck and robotic in just doing the necessary. The style of writing can be a little "older" and some of the ideas may seem a little dated at times, but would recommend. Pretty sweet and easy read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    Revisiting this classic for the first time in about 25 years. I first read it as a mother of small children. It was an important, pivotal influence in the shaping of our home and family life. So many of my generation can testify along with me that Schaeffer deeply impressed our understanding of how profoundly even the smallest spark of beauty can transform both atmosphere and relationships. She called us up higher, and helped us see how we might invite simple, authentic beauty into every aspect Revisiting this classic for the first time in about 25 years. I first read it as a mother of small children. It was an important, pivotal influence in the shaping of our home and family life. So many of my generation can testify along with me that Schaeffer deeply impressed our understanding of how profoundly even the smallest spark of beauty can transform both atmosphere and relationships. She called us up higher, and helped us see how we might invite simple, authentic beauty into every aspect of life, in reflection of the fulness of God, no matter where we live. Even though this book is now 50 years old, I feel its gospel-enriched message is timeless, and perhaps even more vital now than ever. I hope many generations will read this book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jeanna

    I liked the book's premise and there's some beautiful descriptions throughout, I especially liked her childhood memories of China and raising silkworms, but overall found it disappointing. I was hoping for a more practical book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tessa

    I loved this book. It is both beautiful and inspirational.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joelle

    This book was not what I expected, in the best way possible. It was truly a reminder to find beauty in the small things and to make time for creative endeavors.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Dorminy

    While there are some thoughts I don’t fully agree with or that could be expounded upon more, and some areas that kind of drone on (staining a table), this book was encouraging beyond what I thought it would be. She has put a lot of thought into the theology behind WHY you should add flowers to your home or express yourself creatively. She puts so much emphasis on the idea that the Christian should aspire to be more creative in all the areas of your life because we know The Creator. Every thing f While there are some thoughts I don’t fully agree with or that could be expounded upon more, and some areas that kind of drone on (staining a table), this book was encouraging beyond what I thought it would be. She has put a lot of thought into the theology behind WHY you should add flowers to your home or express yourself creatively. She puts so much emphasis on the idea that the Christian should aspire to be more creative in all the areas of your life because we know The Creator. Every thing flows from that initial thought in this book. I will definitely read this again and anytime I’m feeling in a slump in my home. Also, it’s a great gift to give younger adults to encourage them to create beauty in their periods of waiting. Do it now.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Liz Wann

    Maybe you've heard of the tortured artist. A frustrated and alienated character (also, real-life person) who feels like no one gets him or his art. Edith Schaeffer, in her book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking addresses this type of person. The book is aimed towards women in the home, but at times also men. Before you run and hide for cover at the word homemaking, know that Schaeffer is not trying to add another ball for you to juggle in life, but opening our eyes to the importance of beauty and ord Maybe you've heard of the tortured artist. A frustrated and alienated character (also, real-life person) who feels like no one gets him or his art. Edith Schaeffer, in her book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking addresses this type of person. The book is aimed towards women in the home, but at times also men. Before you run and hide for cover at the word homemaking, know that Schaeffer is not trying to add another ball for you to juggle in life, but opening our eyes to the importance of beauty and order. Schaeffer shows us that homemaking is not drudgery, but a blank canvas for us to express ourselves. Art doesn't just have to be framed paintings hanging on our walls; it can be a colorfully arranged plate of food for dinner, fresh and thoughtfully arrayed flowers on a table, or a well designed book case display. Why should these little things matter to us around our homes? Schaeffer says it plain and simple: because we are Christians. She presents the case that we are creative, because we are made in the image of the Creator God. God is the originator of all art forms. So, Christians should be the prime advocates of art, creativity, and beauty. "The Christian should have more vividly expressed creativity in his daily life, and have more creative freedom, as well as the possibility of a continuing development in creative activities." "But, not forgetting the above, then what I call 'Hidden Art' should be more important to one who knows and admits that he is made in God's image, than to those who do not." Schaeffer refers to hidden art, not in the way of a career or profession, but as the everyday details of one's life. We should use our hidden art in our homes everyday as a way to enrich other people's lives, and represent the beauty found in Christ. Each chapter in Schaeffer's book explores different art forms and how we can express them in our homes; it's a way to give ourselves (the tortured artist) an outlet, but also a way to enrich our families and guests. "A Christian, above all people, should live artistically, aesthetically, and creatively. We are supposed to be representing the Creator who is there, and whom we acknowledge to be there." "If we have been created in the image of an Artist, then we should look for expressions of artistry, and be sensitive to beauty, responsive to what has been created for our appreciation." You don't have to be a married woman to read this book, heck, you don't even have to be a woman. You just need to be someone who has some kind of living space in which to exercise your art. Whatever you call home...that is your canvas! For more reviews go to >> http://rowhomereview.com/category/boo...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    The basic theme of the book could be summarized in this quote from it: “If you have been afraid that your love of beautiful flowers and the flickering flame of the candle is somehow less spiritual than living in starkness and ugliness, remember that He who created you to be creative gave you the things with which to make beauty and the sensitivity to appreciate and respond to His creation” (p. 109). As a teen I struggled with whether the desire to look “pretty” and dress nicely was a fleshly one, The basic theme of the book could be summarized in this quote from it: “If you have been afraid that your love of beautiful flowers and the flickering flame of the candle is somehow less spiritual than living in starkness and ugliness, remember that He who created you to be creative gave you the things with which to make beauty and the sensitivity to appreciate and respond to His creation” (p. 109). As a teen I struggled with whether the desire to look “pretty” and dress nicely was a fleshly one, and as a young woman I had the same struggles in regard to wanting an attractive home. Was it a waste of the resources God gave me to use them in such a way, or would it be in better keeping with Christian character to buy bargain basement items, no matter whether they suited me? Were decorative items wasteful and selfish or an enhancement? It helped me greatly to realize that God could have made the world simply functional, but he made it beautiful as well. Another help was realizing that the Proverbs 31 woman dressed in “coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple,” the finest in her day. I read Edith’s book as some point during this time, and I remember feeling so relieved that my natural inclinations were okay. She discusses the principles above, and the principle of balance: we have to keep our artistic desires within the context of our finances, our season of life, our responsibilities to our families and our calling in life at any given point. It’s possible to go overboard. Yet within those contexts, God gives us great freedom of self-expression which in turn can be used to glorify Himself and draw others to Him. She does concede that in some cases we may only be able to cultivate an appreciation for some of these areas rather than a talent in them, and she acknowledges that probably no one can incorporate all of them at once, but she makes a strong case for each one and brings out a variety of ways to employ them in our homes. The book isn’t flawless: some of its examples and illustrations are a bit dated (it was originally published in 1971), sometimes Edith can get just a touch preachy, sometimes she goes on and on with examples when we’ve gotten the point already. But overall it is great encouragement and inspiration to employ creativity. I enjoyed perusing the book again.

  29. 5 out of 5

    R. C.

    Before books like Simplicity Parenting and blogs like Soule Mama were around to remind parents our lifestyles could be an art form that communicated joy to and inspired peaceful lovingkindness in our children, Edith Schaeffer was living out an art-centric peace at L'Abri, her home in the mountains, and writing about it, so that other parents could make this attempt at heaven-on-earth come true now for their kids too. Hearing of her death today reminded me of the days I spent, pregnant with my fi Before books like Simplicity Parenting and blogs like Soule Mama were around to remind parents our lifestyles could be an art form that communicated joy to and inspired peaceful lovingkindness in our children, Edith Schaeffer was living out an art-centric peace at L'Abri, her home in the mountains, and writing about it, so that other parents could make this attempt at heaven-on-earth come true now for their kids too. Hearing of her death today reminded me of the days I spent, pregnant with my firstborn son, holed up with her books, crafting a concept of an intentional life in which the work of my hands and the content of my calendar could reflect and sparkle with the beliefs of my soul and the truths I could wrestle into my head. She set me off on a journey towards Charlotte Mason homeschooling, and it was Miss Mason who said, "Education is a discipline, an atmosphere, a life," causing me to consciously create my life, craft an atmosphere, and cultivate discipline, which stuck with me even when I began to see the end of my homeschooling days and had to figure out who I was now. One night in the midst of that little crisis I woke up remembering L'Abri and I knew what to do. This incredibly influential book manages to say giant, important, life-changing things like "think about the meaning of each part of each day and make your life deliberate like a long, holy ritual," while only actually saying practical, hands-on things like keep candles lit and go on daily walks with your kids. It's an incredible work and I'm so happy to look back on how the culture of motherhood has been talked about over the past fifteen years and realize that Mrs Schaeffer's ideas made their way out and amongst us. I'll include her son's tribute to his mom in this review because it is a good example of what she teaches families to do and be like, in this title: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-s....

  30. 4 out of 5

    Erika Mulvenna

    With a title such as The Hidden Art of Homemaking: Creative Ideas For Enriching Everyday Life, I thought there might be some actual knowledge of homemaking put forth in this book - or some actual tips or techniques relevant to housekeeping. Not so much. This is probably the number 1 top of my list WORST book on homemaking I have ever read. The author used every single chance to proselytize her view of Christianity and try very hard to tie those beliefs into an overly simplified view of Art. I'm n With a title such as The Hidden Art of Homemaking: Creative Ideas For Enriching Everyday Life, I thought there might be some actual knowledge of homemaking put forth in this book - or some actual tips or techniques relevant to housekeeping. Not so much. This is probably the number 1 top of my list WORST book on homemaking I have ever read. The author used every single chance to proselytize her view of Christianity and try very hard to tie those beliefs into an overly simplified view of Art. I'm not sure you could find ONE paragraph in this book that doesn't contain a bible verse. This book doesn't even come close to the American Woman's Home by the Beecher sisters - which is based in a compelling philosophy of managing a home based on the teachings of the bible and emulating Christ himself. If you're looking for a way to be an inspired homemaker through Christ, try this book instead. This book also doesn't even come close to being any kind of inspiration regarding finding art in everyday life, as the author's ideas include doodling (preferably highly religious scenes from the bible) on your shopping lists to make them "come alive for you", and even to use as decorations on your walls. If you're looking for artistic inspiration, try any other book that has the actual word "Art" in the title.

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