Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Hidden Art

Have you read Edith Schaeffer's book, "The Hidden Art of Homemaking"? In it she outlines creative ideas for enriching everyday life. Her writing is real and practical, yet she is quick to encourage adding little details to make home a special place to be. Each chapter describes elements that she believes should be focused upon in a home: art, music, interior decoration, gardens, flower arranging, food, writing, drama, recreation, clothing, integration of others, and the environment. Edith speaks fondly of children and of a mother's role in creating elements in a home that provide color, texture, shape, repetition, and line. Baking bread becomes a communal connecting point in a family, and the always present table centerpiece is created from objects readily available during any season in nature. Her writing draws the reader into her home with statements like this: "The kitchen should be an interesting room in which communication takes place between child and mother and also among adults. It should be interesting in the same way as is an artist's studio, as well as being a cosy spot in which to have a cup of tea while something is being watched or stirred, or while waiting to take something out of the oven." Most of all, the author reminds each reader that we are to extend hospitality especially to those whom we may not normally extend it, as Jesus said doing "for one of the least of these" is as though doing unto Him. If you haven't read this book yet, take a moment to find a copy and enjoy an afternoon read.

*Tyndale Press 1971


  1. Anonymous2:19 PM

    Beautiful thoughts and comments!

  2. I'm going to be on the lookout for this one in my book adventures...

  3. Just found your blog read about the hankies, I made a pillow using my moms hankies and her engagement picture at Christmas with our family we alway do a auction. I auctioned the pillow off wonderful family heirloom. I used a old pearl necklace of hers to embelish. All the money we make goes to hospice. Vicki Page

  4. I read this book many years ago...I will have to find another copy. Thank you for sharing it.

  5. Sounds like a nice volume.
    Home is the first school and parents are the first teachers.
    My husband loves coming home. As it should be a haven an refuge in the world to go and rest your soul, and spirit a while. Every needs a rest sometimes. So many over the years who I have extended over the years have spoken to me of this being a safe place. Many friends would rather come and hang out here than go anywhere else.
    So many many children come here for playdates and their faces soften after a while and they so often come to me and tell me the like how it feels here.
    This is a true gift we offer , one that everyone is starving for.
    Everyone wishes they could go home to a safe haven and rest.

  6. Thank You! I will most definitely get my hands on this book. I'll tell my daughter, Hilary {the librarian} about it & she will go on a mission to find it.
    This post is lovely. And I'm lovin' that placemat underneath all those pretties.

  7. Very nice! Thanks for the excerpt!

  8. Thanks, sweetie!! I am going to find this book!! Emilie Barnes has a couple of really good books on the same topic, but it's always refreshing to hear another's viewpoint!!

    Have a glorious week!!
    Hugs, Becky

  9. No, I've not read it, but I'd like to...I hear so much about Edith.

  10. I haven't heard of this book before, sounds nice. I like what she says about the kitchen. I have enjoyed my kitchen being in the "great room" where I can talk with others while doing kitchen duties. I wish I'd had that when my children were growing up.


  11. I have found a couple of copies of this book over the years at thrift stores where I snatched them up. The book is great to use as a reference book when one is needing alittle inspiration around the home, or can be used as a gift to a young housewife. I love my copy. I am a fan of Edith's writings.

  12. Gail --- I so agree with you! I love reading books that Edith has authored. It's a great idea to find old copies in thrift stores. My copy is a paperback reprint. Maybe someday I'll find an old hard-cover edition for my library. Enjoy a lovely day!


Thank you for commenting on my blog post. I am always happy to hear from blog readers. Your words encourage and inspire me. I am glad you stopped by to share conversation, recipes, ideas, and thoughts on creating a welcoming home.