The Older Woman on My Bookshelf – A Review (and Giveaway) of “The Hidden Art of Homemaking”

I don’t read very many books more than once. My “to-read” list is way too long to use up time reading a book I’ve already read. But over the last few days I’ve been reading The Hidden Art of Homemaking for the fourth time. Every time I read this book I come away refreshed and inspired. And every time I read it, I’m in a different season of life and see different ways to apply Mrs. Schaeffer’s wisdom.

I first discovered The Hidden Art of Homemaking when we were still having babies every couple of years. Our church family was a lively collection of young families with lots of little children, but there was not an older woman to be found in our young congregation. So Edith Schaeffer became one of “my” older women.

Hidden Art profoundly shaped my view of homemaking and its rich creative potential. Without this book, life in the Forster household would be very different. She inspired me, in the midst of raising six little ones, in a period of our lives where our decor was bricks-and-boards bookshelves and wall-to-wall Legos, to bring beauty and creativity into our home, however insignificant or simple my efforts seemed.

The main message I always take away after reading Hidden Art is: God has made us in His image. He has made us to be creative. We will have greater joy and bring joy into the lives of others when we are exercising that creativity.

Mrs. Schaeffer challenges us to take our hidden talents, those creative abilities that we may not be exercising in the midst of everyday busy-ness and duties, and put them to use in ways that will enrich the lives of others, beautify our world, and satisfy our own creative needs. For example, we may not have time to write the novel we have always dreamed of,  but we can find and give joy by blessing others with our lively letters (and email and blogs in this present era), a loving or humorous note tucked into a lunch bag, a personalized little story for a child, catchy poems for clues to a family treasure hunt, etc.

The bulk of the book offers creative and practical ways to bless others, especially our families, while we exercise “hidden art” in:

  • Music
  • Painting, sketching, and Sculpturing
  • Interior Decoration
  • Gardens and Gardening
  • Flower Arrangements
  • Food
  • Writing – Prose and Poetry
  • Drama
  • Creative Recreation
  • Clothing
  • Integration (of different ages, races, economic and educational backgrounds, etc.)
  • Environment (the environment we create around us through our attitudes, character, appearance, etc.)

While inspiring us with her creative ideas, Mrs. Schaeffer continually calls us to be all that God has created us to be as “creative creatures,” made in God’s image:

“There is no need to lock up this capacity for expression because you have not been able to make a career of it. Develop it for your own sake, for the enrichment of the lives of those you live with, and as an unconscious spark to set fire to other dry wood, other creative creatures on a finite level.”

“You will yourself will be a more interesting person. It is very logical, really. Stifling or squashing a natural expression detracts from one’s personality.”

“There is no specific kind of house you must live in to be ‘spiritual’ — only the house the Lord has chosen for His chosen purpose for you, and the house with you in it. But whether it be a palace or a tree house, beauty is important, and this very simple form of producing beauty is really one of the most universally possible expressions of ‘hidden art’.”

“…But Christians, who do have a base for creativity, as well as other marks of personality, are very often not the most creative people nor the ones who produce an atmosphere for creativity. Yet they have a solemn responsibility in this: to themselves, to others, and to the God who created them.”

The book looks dated. Don’t let that put you off. It was first published in 1971, and newer editions still include “70’s-ish” illustrations. Some of Mrs. Schaeffer’s ideas may also seem a bit outdated, simply because she was writing for her own contemporaries over 40 years ago. But that only gives the reader more opportunities to be creative by looking for ways to apply her wisdom to our present-day world.

Be ready for a delightful new outlook on homemaking and creativity, and for a new joy as you slip bits of beauty into the lives of those around you. In our household, illustrated letters and Bible study notes; bed time piano “concerts”; drawings on discipline charts; a flower or two in whatever place we stay as we travel; creative table centerpieces (often created by the children); simple herb gardens; the choice of dishes to highlight the colors of a particular meal; the added dollops of whip cream, mint sprigs, and fresh berries on top of a pie; treasure hunt meals; illustrated short stories; dramatizing Bible stories and proverbs, the purposeful arrangement of colors and textures in my container garden on the deck, and much, much more can all be traced to the inspiration of my mentor, Edith Schaeffer, who chose to exercise her own creativity by writing The Hidden Art of Homemaking to enrich the lives of thousands of other women.

If you need a fresh shot of energy and creativity as you care for your family and create a home for them, read The Hidden Art of Homemaking. We would like to give one of you a free copy. You can enter our giveaway by sharing one thing you do to add beauty and creativity to your home. The winner will be announced this Friday, June 8, 2012.

 

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87 Comments

  1. I am an organizer, so I am always trying to move things around in my house to make things more accessible. This helps us get use out of the “stuff” we have and I am always praying for creativity so that I can make our small home more useful. Thanks

  2. I try to involve my young daughters by letting them help make seasonal decor. Heart garlands in February, stuffing a scarecrow in the fall, paper snowflakes in winter, anything we can think of!

  3. I have started a small home business, designing, and making purses and accessories. In the midst of that, I am always experimenting with new fabrics and colors. It is just the “spark” that I need to keep my creative juices flowing, and I feel like it affects the way I keep house, cook, and teach my children. Not only that, my children are involved in many aspects of the business, and are always learning and coming up with creative ways to accomplish common tasks. Being creative, and having an outlet for creativity has kept me passionate about this season in life. I believe it helps me to be content as a wife and homeschooling mother. There is no need to squelch any part of me.

  4. Wow. This is something I’ve ignored in my homemaking for the past four or five years at least. I’ve longed to make my home more beautiful, but have felt that my energy (and more significantly our household budget) was more profitably spent elsewhere.
    Still, there have been moments here and there where I’ve tried to enrich our surroundings. For a long time, we had nothing to hang on our walls – they were bare and plain, and we rent, so the color has that typical rental tainted-white look. So, we had our very young kids create some artwork and hang it around the room. Since then, we’ve added homemade Scripture prints and some black and white photos to illustrate Christian’s choices of destination in the Pilgrim’s Progress (The town of Morality, Vanity Fair, and the narrow path leading through the Delectable Mountains). That last one was all the work of my creative husband though, so I can’t take credit.

  5. I write Scripture out and display it in my home. I’ve always enjoyed drawing, so I add to the Scripture by illustrating what comes to heart when I read the specific verse. My children are very creative and it encourages them to want to do the same. I love splashing God’s word in as many places as I can. Even our family napkins and pillow cases have Scripture written on them…:) God bless you and thank you for the encouragement of this book, whether it’s gifted to me or I purchase it myself. I’m delighted to own it.

  6. I learned how to smock and sew children’s clothes three years ago, and I LOVE it. I’ve been using my free time since then to make them beautiful clothes that cost pennies compared to what I would pay for them in a boutique store. My 5 year old daughter just asked last week when I was going to teach her how to sew. My mother-in-law suggested I start teaching her how to sew by hand now by cutting out simple patterns for her baby dolls & let her sew beautiful clothes for her “babies”.

    I’ve seen this book several times and keep thinking, “I should get this and read it”, but I just haven’t taken the time to do so yet. Thanks for sharing the review! It alone has inspired me, and I will be looking for this book again soon. Thanks for your encouragement! :O)

  7. I am a musician so our house is always full of music! I also make cards, so I have been longing to make decorative scripture pages for our home too.

  8. I have several scripture verses that I have printed out and put up on my walls. I also try to keep wild flowers in vases on my table and kitchen window. This is an area where I could use some help, though!

  9. I guess it’s more of a classroom design, but about 2 years ago when I began homeschooling our (then) 5 year old and 2 year old, I needed a space to display their art work. So I hung a piece of pink yarn (sorry, only color I had then and currently only have–wish I could learn the art of crochet!) in our kitchen on one wall from one nail to one nail and I let the kids hang their current and best art work on it with clothespins. Adds a real touch of flair in our house and people comment on it all the time! Need some more outlets for creativity, though, so I really hope I win the book. This mom of tiny-tots needs it! 🙂

  10. I like to bring in nature. Leaves and ferns make pretty flower arrangements when my garden doesn’t have many flowers. One flower in a old bottle can be so sweet to look at. I think simple. A whole vase of store bought flowers really isn’t as pleasing as a few simple blooms you can really look at and see!!!

  11. Cooking is something my grandmother shared with me, and I am sharing it with my children. It is something simple, but reflects love to me and reminds me of fond childhood memories in the kitchen with my “B”.

  12. My homemaking is stuck in a rut. Laundry, meals, homeschooling. My 10 year old daughter and I couldn’t even think of anything I do to bring beauty and creativity to the home….ouch. So I look forward to reading this book and exploring that side of myself.

  13. I love to organize and decorate. So, I try to use both of those interests/talents to beautify my physical space. I feel like a beautiful home encourages my husband and son to pursue their creative endeavors. Like a set designer creates thr background for a play/musical, my organizing and decorating provide the backdrop for a life well lived.

  14. We had a room with no ceiling lighting, and needed reading light in a dark corner. On a walk I came upon three wall-mounted indoor/outdoor lanterns in a box marked “free” on the curbside. With a single piece of plywood and a little wiring (okay, my husband contributed a little skill too!) we now have a brilliantly lit room. I also love naming things, so our home and all the rooms in it have names. Our surname can be linked to boats, so we have a nautical theme in The Portage (our house). Galley, Porthole, Mess Hall, Poop Deck, Crow’s Nest, and more… I’d love to get this book by Edith Schaeffer!

  15. Whoops – just noticed I missed the cutoff. No worries. 🙂 Love to share!

  16. I’m a bit of an amateur photographer, so the way I add beauty to our home is through photographs. My 16month old daughter’s room has photographs of flowers that I took while traveling with my husband and native flowers from our home state. Our main family living area has photographs our little girl as she has grown and there are photographs of our family and friends, near and far.

    I love using photographs to add beauty to our home because we live in a small condo and don’t have much space, but a photograph can be as small or large as you would like. Photographs also are physical representations of the beauty that is a part of our lives and serve as great reminders of how the Lord demonstrates His love for us through the beauty of His creation and the amazing people He puts in our lives.

  17. 11 kids and 30 years of homemaking and I’ve never read this much-tauted book. Maybe this year?! I am a decorator wannabe and love to create beautiful ‘scenes’ around my house- whether it be the right combination of inviting bedding or a whimsical tablescape. As a homeschooling family we spend so much time between these walls…. I want it to be a pleasant, enlivening experience.

  18. I’m Beauty In The Home challenged and would welcome this read and inspiration! I tend to mimic Pottery Barn in my “style” – and while that’s outwardly “pretty”, it feels vacant. Would love to read this to become Biblically inspired 🙂

  19. I am not a “creative” person by nature but I love to have my children’s artwork on display. We also put up a lot of pictures of friends and family to have them around us. We do not live in close proximity to them so it is nice to have them “around” us. I also love flowers whether it is a simple bouquet of wildflowers or dandelions my kidlets bring in or something more extravagant we love to have flowers in and out of our home. Thank you for this opportunity. Good resources are so wonderful to help stretch and grow 🙂

  20. Thank you so much for hosting this give-away! I absolutely love embroidery and old fashioned crafting. Living on a small farm with my husband and three sons, I try to leave little signs of a “feminine touch” around our home without overpowering them with “girliness!” I can remember my nana always had handmade doilies under her vases and on top of bureaus and tables and such. In keeping with her memory, I do the same around our home. I also make quilts and curtains and such out of vintage sheets…and look for “boyish” colors to make these things for my sons’ rooms.

    Sweet blessings,
    Laura

  21. No Martha Stewart here – not terribly creative when it comes to decor overall (love getting ideas from Pinterest!!!), but I love to make quilts of all sizes and scatter them around the house. Some are seasonal, but most are just colorful.

  22. I like to add seasonal decorations to my home. Sometimes it is just adding something to the top of my entertainment center and others I add things throughout the house. I just recently found a beautiful crocheted tablecloth that my mother-in-law made for me at my bridal shower. I don’t have a round kitchen table anymore so I put it on a round end table I have in my living room. I think it helps make the room feel warm and cozy. I’d love to win the giveaway for more ideas 🙂

  23. Wow! I have enjoyed reading the comments just as much as the post! So many lovely, creative ways to add beauty to our homes. I recently took up embroidery. It is something I have been wanting to learn for years. I am enjoying it so much! I have finished 3 bible verses to frame and put on the walls. I’m looking forward to my next project!

  24. I do my best to keep our home clean and uncluttered. I have Bible verses on walls around the home. I would appreciate some new ideas 🙂

  25. I try to add beauty in the little things…picking some lilacs from our bush outside, adding a pretty tablecloth, having melodious music playing…things like that. We have 3 small children 5 and under, with another due in August, so our beautiful things have to be simple. They generally don’t last long 🙂 our tablecloths go about 1 hour before getting dirty 🙂

  26. My kids and I love to craft! We enjoy making things ourselves and then proudly displaying the results!

    Thanks for this giveaway. I’ve read and loved Edith Shaeffer’s “What is a Family” and would love to read this as well.
    Stephanie

  27. My husband gave me a birthday gift of a cake decorating class last year. Though I don’t have lots of time to use it, it was fun to (along with my mother-in-law) decorate 80+ cupcakes for a recent reception. My daughters love watching and trying as well. So, they are learning the joy of being in the kitchen and making it creative!

  28. In this current house we are in, there is no window over the kitchen sink. Looking at a wall for hours is not my idea of having God’s beauty coming in! So after thanking Him for this house, I started cutting out flowers that were on greeting cards sent to me and taping them up on the wall. Now I have a ‘garden’ reminding of God’s creation where there used to be just a wall.

  29. I’ve always loved writing scripture on card stock and framing them around the house, taping them on a mirror, writing them on a painted canvas. Nothing more beautiful than scripture.

  30. Wow! The comments are inspiring me! We have sometimes picked a proverb to illustrate in a journal, and then have the rest of the family guess which one it is. Acting it out is also fun!

  31. Our 6 year old girl keeps us crafty around here..thankfully! I have learned to patiently listen to her ideas (let’s be honest..sometimes we’re just in waaaaay to big of a hurry!)..because she really does have some wonderful ideas to add “a pretty thing” to here and to there. I, personally am looking forward to the summer for several reasons..but this one for sure: Trying out new recipes that everyone has seen and asked to try. We have three kids who all love to make things in the kitchen and serve dad and I. I look forward to us finding and making new things we love. And finding new things to make for others. We love to see our neighbor coming over with goodies….so we love to surprise her too!

  32. Three ways we try to add beauty to our family life:
    1. creative meals – not every day, but about once a week we make something different.
    2. taking photos of everyday life.
    3. doing projects – sometimes me, sometimes my husband, sometimes us together.

  33. I love interior design and really try to make our home comfortable, beautiful and peaceful with lots of light, house plants and an americana theme that we can all enjoy. House plants are my current favorite, as I’m just learning how to take care of them well.

  34. Right now simply keeping the house clean daily is a huge step! With two little ones and another on the way that’s about as far as I get but I look forward to the day the girls and I can put a “touch” on the house……and know it will still be cute/nice/pretty the next morning!

  35. My house is generally a mess, but during days like these I’m happy to be able to bring in God’s good gifts of flowering plants to add to the table and bathroom sconces. Even if there’s a mess at the end of the table, I can still smile at the beauty of God’s creation.

  36. I paint different things and make pyrographed (burned) items. In my daughter’s old room I had painted a little mural of the Disney Princesses on her wall for her. She really enjoyed that.

  37. If I had to pick one way to add beauty & creativity to our home, it would be to stop using our bedroom as the catch-all for things when unexpected company comes, or when company comes and I haven’t had time to finish a bigger project….and we have lots of frequent company! Everything gets shoved in there out of the way, and I would love to make our bedroom more beautiful, peaceful, and creative! A haven or sanctuary, rather than a clutter trap!!!

  38. This year, our family is focusing on 1 Corinthians 13 – on what it means to truly love one another. I’ve found that as we treat one another with patience and kindness, when we are not self-seeking, etc., then our home is filled with a peaceful beauty that comes from Christ’s love within us.

  39. I am not very creative or “decor” minded, but I try to hang things on the walls that will bring us joy. I have A LOT of framed family pictures on the wall (dating all the way back to black and white portraits of past generations), as well as a large collection of lovely crosses.

  40. I have several pictures with scripture and inspirational sayings throughout my home. I also have index cards with Bible verses on them all over the kitchen (where I spend the bulk of my day!) to help encourage us.

  41. I love to create a peaceful atmosphere for dinner. Before my husband comes home, my girls and I begin dinner preparations. Before I begin the actual cooking, I make sure we get cleaned up before he comes home. I have tons of candles that I light. Then I’ll turn Pandora on with some great music from the 40’s. Atmosphere is everything to making a chuck steak feel like it’s filet mignon! 🙂

  42. I like to cut flowers and put them in a vase on the dining room table so we can enjoy them while we eat. I also try to switch out a little seasonal decor, and have printed some of my scenic photos in a large size and framed them. This book has been on my list to get, so would love to win it!

  43. Theresa Hennessey

    I just decorated are large front porch to make it more inviting

  44. JHollyhock (aka Jennifer H.)

    I think my beauty and creativity comes out in my cooking. I love coming up with new and yummy things with what we have on hand. As far as the home goes I could use a lot of help there. 😉

  45. I enjoy painting and re-finishing things my husband and I find around the farm and on freecycle. It’s inexpensive but makes our home attractive and it’s decor that my husband appreciates.

  46. we paint scripture on the walls!

  47. We are about half way through “opening” our outside patio area. I ask for hanging plants for my birthday in June and we decorate our patio. The shady area is a lovely spot to share an afternoon with friends. I set out mini lanterns and candles for evening events.

    Fancy old dishes make even chips and cookies “feel” special and elegant. My daughters have learned a few fancy napkin folds that add to the decor.

    I’ve always wanted to read this book and stir up those hidden talents that take a back seat to everyday life too frequently.

  48. I work full-time now, but I like to sew and paint and bake with my daughter and two boys when I can. The kids bring in flowers from the yard for me to put in a vase. We also enjoy decorating for each season of the year. Many of these decorations were made by someone in the family… some still exist from when my husband and me were little! I love marking the changing of the seasons in this way, and to give the children a sense of the rhythm of life and God’s beautiful creation. I have heard of this book before, and your blog entry makes me want to read it to find new ways to encourage creativity and praise to God through our household activities! Thank you for your message and inspiration.

  49. I painted a ceramic plate that I like to call the “Celebration Plate”. Any time my children need encouragement or celebration, I bring out the plate at their place setting with a special dessert on it, an after school snack, or a special meal. We’ve celebrating spelling a new word, making a good choice, facing a fear, etc. It has brought joy in a small way to those everyday special moments =)

  50. I just purchased this book at our local home school book fair. I am almost finished reading it. I especially enjoyed the chapter on using drawings for sermons. Since I teach a kindergarten Sunday school class, I want to incorporate some of these things in my class. Growing up, my parents didn’t go to garage sales or local thrift shops, but since we are living on one income, I can see that there are many great finds at these places and now I have inspiration to look at older things in a new way. Thanks for sharing this book and whoever wins the copy should be delighted. I love your website and appreciate how you share Jesus Christ with the world. May God bless you and continue to use your family for His glory.

  51. One thing I love to do to make our home more “beautiful” is to bake. I LOVE to bake bread. It’s not a *visually* beautiful thing, but it sure makes our house a home. Even the neighborhood kids are drawn to our home as well when we are baking bread or cookies.

  52. Allison Witschorke

    One thing I started doing was to use cookie cutters to cut my son’s sandwiches into letters that he is learning that week – or shapes of things that start with that letter. We have done some cooking projects especially during the holidays. Should do more. Thank you for the post. I am very interested in getting this book. I do not have a love of homemaking, but God has brought several people into my life over the years who have helped me to want to change my attitude in this area. I am trying, but I find that despite my good intentions, with working I run out of time and energy. God continues to work on me though! Wish I had put more thought into this at a younger age so that it would have been more of a priority sooner.

  53. Had pause and think…how do I make our home more beauitful? Sadly, it took me a while, but I love to grow things and there are plants in most rooms adding life and cleaning air!

  54. I haven’t been doing much to beautify lately! With 8 children it’s been a struggle just to keep things clean and reasonably organized and I realized I’ve lost a little of my zeal for making things lovely. I do try to make sure our space is welcoming, and not too “fussy” so the children don’t feel that home is a too-precious space that they can’t play in for fear of “messing things up.” I’ve always meant to read this book, perhaps this is just the right time to be reinspired by it! 🙂

  55. I love to decorate. If we are looking for something in particular the kids and I will pray for what we need and then we go to a garage sale and find it! It’s lots of fun, not very expensive, and really builds our faith 🙂 My husband has a green thumb so we like to cut fresh flowers from the garden to decorate the tables also.

  56. Caroline Fuhrmann

    I have a daughter (Lydia, age 6) and son (Noah, age 5) and we like to have tea parties. We have a special tea set that we reserve for these occasions and usually have baked cookies or some special treat along with our tea. They enjoy helping set and decorate the coffee table, and it’s fun to see how they get creative themselves with their own “table cloths,” flowers (sometimes weeds) from the yard, and occasionally even their own created treats. Today my Noah (an aspiring chef) surprised us with applesauce with pick sugar crystals (generously sprinkled) & cinnamon. They love to dress up and listen to classical music or hymns while we enjoy our tea and treats. I was inspired to have tea parties by our special friends, the Gilpin family. I love books and ideas that inspire me to make our home a warm and sweet place to live!

  57. I paint scripture, murals, quotes on the walls in our home. It just makes the rooms feel complete and it’s a great witness to visitors. This book sounds amazing since I seem to be in the same situation as you were with no older women in our fellowship.

  58. We moved not that long ago so I’ve been trying to think about the best set up for each room, where to hang photos, and how to improve on what we’ve already done. 🙂

  59. I use the kids’ art throughout the house. It is very beautiful and meaningful to us.

  60. We hang Scripture, memorize it together, frame and hang family pictures, and try to keep clutter to a minimum. Would love to read this!

  61. I’m a copycat, for sure. I don’t have a creative bone in my body. But the one thing I do like to do is have lots of pictures throughout the house. The kids especially love seeing pictures of themselves when they were younger.

  62. I love to find simple ways to make my home inviting. I work pretty hard at keeping it clutter free ( with 8 people in 1300 st it is a challenge). I try to keep it neat so everyone is comfy and I love finding just what I need at garage sales or goodwill.

  63. I’ve added beauty to our home by painting canvases for many rooms in our house.

  64. I try to add beauty to our house by keeping sweet smelling candles going so there’s always a welcoming aroma and soft music playing in the background 🙂

  65. For different special holidays (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, birthdays) throughout the year, I feature keepsakes around our home that reflect the holiday. Right now for Father’s Day, I have favorite photos of my husband and son together, a special picture of my father (deceased) and myself as a child, a father/son Willow Tree my husband received as a gift, a special autographed baseball my dad gave me, etc.

  66. We are in the middle of moving into our new home, so I am really trying to beautify it as we unpack. We’re doing a little bit of painting and a whole lot of retraining with the children on how we treat our home. One thing I did was buy myself some pretty flowers to look at when I feel like I am up to my eyeballs in boxes.

  67. I’m more of a mechanically minded person so I could use all the ideas for beautifying that I can get! I do like to think of ways to make/build things that are useful to our family and that save money such as a PVC calendar stand for our homeschool, a coal shoveling train for our boys to play in, etc. we also have a nature table full of beautiful things from the outdoors and some animals to watch like fish and tadpoles. I guess that counts!

  68. One thing I like to do is have music playing, usually instrumental. But also hymns and worship songs.

  69. thank you for the giveaway! I have four daughters, six years old and under. We have always crafted things and colored, but I recently began teaching the girls to sew. We also have started learning a new hymn each month and keeping a nature journal. It is so much fun to see their drawings and hear their stories about what we are seeing together outside!

  70. I play piano for my children and for our worship times. I have also journalled with them on given topics.

  71. I try to bring written scripture in our home to inspire us all. Displayed in beautiful ways. Either a printed and framed one that was free on the internet, beautiful bookmarks, hand-painted notes on an odd wall, cups that can me purchased and then embellished, etc.

  72. I have always loved beautiful dishes and glass goblets. When I got married that is how I always set the table for dinner. Well we now have 4 little ones and people have a fit that we use glass and beautiful plates every night. Yes, things have got broke a few times but not a big deal because I pick up my things at flea markets/antique shops for hardly nothing and they are all different so if one breaks I didnt loose anything to a set!

  73. I pray over every room asking God for wisdom and guidance. I pray that the Lord would bless my mind and hands for the task of beautifying my home. I have many children, so the task may seem overwhelming at times, especially when my boys rough house and things break.

    I’m also asking God to show me how to paint, take care of the outside of my home by power washing the sidings and porch, mowing the lawn. I have depended on my husband for such things, but he’s been extremely busy working a full time job and side work. I need to learn how.

    Thank you for this opportunity.

  74. I am finally, after nearly two years, getting to paint my children’s rooms so that they are not the boring beige that was in the house when we moved in. I can relate to the person who is renting and has those plain white walls. I lived like that for all of my adult life until two years ago. One thing I did was get a huge canvas and put out paint colors that I wish my walls could be and then I gave my children some paint brushes and mini rollers and we covered the entire canvas. We made a piece of art and a memory that day. It still hangs in our house now. I know I need work and encouragement in this area of my homemaking, so I would love to read the book.

  75. While not the first thing one thinks of for adding beauty to a home, I try to be creative in preparing meals that are wonderful to smell and pleasing to see. My husband enjoys coming home to the aromas of fresh bread and homemade meals.

  76. I have plants in my house, and I also like to move things around.

  77. I bring nature from the outdoors through the door of my home to enjoy it’s beauty and see it up close more often.

  78. I’ve heard about this book over the years, but I’ve never read it. It sounds like a great catalyst for God-honoring creativity in the home!

    Currently, beauty here is trying to keep the chaos to a minimum, and thinking of creative ideas to enhance homeschool with my kids.

    I have a degree in music (piano performance/pedagogy), but rarely play. That will be a new goal for me. Thanks for a chance to win!

  79. I love to celebrate my littles’ creativity by displaying their work throughout the house. In one room it may be their latest creations clothes-pinned to some twine and strung across the windows. In another room, it may simply be their art displayed on the fridge. Regardless, on our farmhouse table we always keep a large supply of colors, paints, and paper available so they can create whenever the mood strikes them.

  80. I’d like to add more beauty with flowers, I love them but often don’t get around to using them inside- little ones are a little older and maybe we can get away with more. 🙂 I’ve had to be careful- we have climbers!!!

  81. Within the past few years I have tried to acknowledge my desire to be creative while relinquishing any need to judge my abilities. Perhaps my most enjoyable creations have been my stick figure drawings. I first incorporated them into a family vacation journal. I amused myself, captured some humorous aspects of our travel, and most importantly taught my children that creative expression need not be epic.

  82. I’d love to file all my kiddos’ drawings and colorings, but since there is only so much place to store them, I photograph them as keepsakes. And this is a great inspiration for the kiddos to see their work on the powerpoint display on the computer and in the car.

  83. By the way, we absolutely *heart* Charlotte Mason’s creative method of memorizing scripture!

  84. Thanks for the comments, everyone! Our randomly-drawn winner is Susan, for comment #6.

  85. I enjoy making things to display in my home. I also display my daughter’s artwork.

  86. Thanks for the opportunity to win! I love to decorate with scripture on walls or framed, as well as feminine women in old fashioned settings 🙂

  87. Thank you so much, Pam, for bringing attention to this dear, godly woman! My husband had a number of stays in the English and Swiss L’Abri locations, and although he didn’t interact with Edith Schaffer, he did with her daughter, Susan Schaeffer Macauley. Her daughter Susan, who clearly learned from her mother how to bring beauty, influenced my husband in a couple of simple ways, and consequently, our family life. My husband Michael spent about four weeks at the English L’abri during the early 80’s.
    Just in the past two weeks I asked Michael, “Why do you love Kenneth Grahame’s ‘The Wind in the Willows’ so much?” He had read it aloud to our children when they were young, and he subsequently purchased the John Rutter musical based upon the book. He would quote little portions of the book, here and there, such that I started quoting portions back to him, as I had loved the book as a child. I was amazed by his answer: “Well, because Susan Schaeffer Macauley read it aloud to us while I was at L’Abri!” Michael was in his mid-20’s at the time. Consequently, he soon started collecting children’s literature–even before he saw the possiblity of getting married. And was the one who initiated the family culture of reading aloud.