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The Hidden Art of Homemaking
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The Hidden Art of Homemaking

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  814 ratings  ·  76 reviews
The author reveals the many opportunities for artistic expression that can be found in ordinary, everyday life.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 10th 1985 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published 1972)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,654)
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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...more
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...more
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...more
Oct 15, 2007 RF rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who see creativity expressed in everyday domesticity
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
I read this book bit by bit, stopping to savor each section and think on it a while before moving forward to the next chapter. I liked it, although it takes a few pages to get in the groove with the author's style. I like the way she sees life and homemaking as an art and something every Christian can learn. It is not the sort of book you think it to be--it is more spiritual than 'religious' and there are no undertones of guilt if one is not a 'perfect' homemaker. It's truly a joy and an exercis...more
Raine Carraway
I really wanted to like this even more, because I love her husband's books, but I found myself having trouble with it.

I just couldn't get into the short chapters and such as a book to read straight through, but I may find it more useful as a book to read bit by bit. I think I will give it another shot in the future and try to apply some of her suggestions one at a time and see how I like it then.
one of my "heart" books...
edith is one of my favorite friends... she is my mentor, and I love her.. This book is so dear to me... I have worn it nearly out... feel free at ANY time to send me a new one.. but GET one for yourself first and READ IT>...
let it dwell in you and renew you
This book's title is kind of misleading. It's NOT a guide to being a better housewife - it's about bringing art and creativity into your everyday life. As a creative person, I might even say it was life-changing. I now plan to read everything else Edith Schaeffer wrote. :)
Alissa Wilkinson
I really do like this book; it's light, but inspiring, and makes you feel like cleaning up at home, baking a loaf of bread, and inviting friends over for coffee and conversation.

(Edith Schaeffer is Francis Schaeffer's wife.)
Reread! I really enjoyed this...especially the Food and Environment chapters as well as other tidbits! So inspiring!
Weird. Bummer that it wasn't at the library and I bought it on amazon.
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...more
Talk about a misleading title. It would be a shame for someone not to pick this up, thinking that all it consisted of is outdated how-tos for the homemaker. The theme of the book really deals with how to incorporate art into your everyday activities. That is, if you have a talent for drama, but find it impossible to achieve a career as an actor, don't just pine away for what might have been. Instead, put that talent to good use in reading books out loud to your family. Schaeffer gives dozens of...more
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...more
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,...more
Kate Hyde
Don't be fooled - this book is not just for housewives and stay-at-home-moms. This is a book for everyone. It's about re-discovering your passions. Since this book covers such a wide variety of subjects, there were a couple of chapters that I skipped/skimmed through, but most of the chapters were such an eye-opener for me.

I'm reminded that I don't have to be in a specific situation to enjoy the hobbies that I used to love. I may not be in a choir anymore, but I can still sing along to my favori...more
This book tells the importance and need to bring art into everyday life. Schaeffer's reasoning is easy to understand: Because we were created in the image of the Creator, we have a drive to be creative. "It is not a waste of time to be creative, becuase that is what man was created to be able to do" on a finite level. The book goes over many types of 'art',including food, clothing, painting, music,and decorating. Examples and ideas are shared.
When I frist picked up this book, I wasn't to excite...more
I picked up a copy of Hidden Art (The Hidden Art of Homemaking) by Edith Schaeffer recently to remember what I loved about it so much 20 years ago. Written in Schaeffer's quaint conversational style, it charmed me again as I studied it.

Funny thing is, I wasn't even a homemaker when I first read Hidden Art. I was a college student, eager to soak up new ideas. I had no idea at the time, how formative this little book would be to me. Now, so many years later, I find I have unconsciously applied so...more
My pastor's wife gave this book to me when I graduated from high school, w-a-y back in 1974. I've read quite a few books about homemaking since then, but this one is timeless. It remains, hands-down, the best book on home arts that I've ever read. Filling a home with beauty does not require a lot of money, it requires a lot of love. Edith knows how to stimulate creativity by sharing examples from her own life such as creating makeshift furniture, feeding people, filling a home with music, welcom...more
Mark Nenadov
It is easy for someone to look at this title and see "Homemaking" and jump to all sorts of conclusions.

This book is an excellent look at the ways you can make your home a warm home through your creativity, whether or not you consider yourself a "homemaker".

Edith, the wife of the late Francis Schaeffer, who now also has gone on to her reward, provides excellent ideas for creative expressions--even for those who feel they have no proper outlet for their expression. She exhorts people not to wait...more
This will be a reread for me - but Cindy Rollins (from Ordo Amoris) will be hosting a virtual book club discussion on this book in the coming months... :)

Even though Cindy Rollin's book club is only on Chapter 4, I could not wait and so I read ahead... and filled 3 pages worth of ideas in my journal! I will go back again (for the 3rd time!) and follow along with everyone else...

I feel like I've been rating a lot of books 5 stars lately, but I don't think its because I'm not being discerning. I b...more
Natalie Wickham
From painting to music to food to recreation, Mrs. Schaeffer offers suggestions for how the ordinary responsibilities of a day in a Christian home can involve creativity and originality. While each chapter is full of personal illustrations and practical tips, she presents a persuasive case that “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.” I was challenged...more
Aug 14, 2014 Marcia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
Well! Why did I wait so long to read this? I'm definitely adding this to our highschool girls reading list! And perhaps buying her a copy to take along when she moves out.
Full of gems. This might change my way of hospitality for the better!
The book is slightly dated, and hers is quite the example to follow (she must have been an amazing woman, or is if she's still living). She offers some great ideas on how to bring art and creativity into your possibly mudane life, while focusing on how this expresses love for those around you, and the reasons why God created us to be creative. I particularly enjoyed the chapter where she talks about illustrating her husband's sermons for the delight and instruction of her daughters and other chi...more
Feb 12, 2012 Lee added it
This is one of the first books I read by Edith and found a lot of sound advice. I guess the one thing that has stuck with me all these years is that no matter how poor you might be, you can always have beauty around you. By just putting a single flower in a vase, you will brighten up any corner of your home no matter how glorious or simple your home may be. I still try to find small ways of having some beauty in every room which not only makes things look better but brightens the spirit as well.
Paula Avanto
This book is wonderful. As I was reading it all I wanted to do was beautify my life, my family, and my home. When I finished the book I got right on it and began a garden, I added flowers in the dining room and living room, and I began looking for cheap ways to dress up my home and give it a comfortable feel. I also put into practice how to look at life more beautifully and began teaching my children to do the same. This book has been a great blessing to me and so worth the little time I have to...more
Emily Schatz
Good book. The voice is a bit dated and the author uses lots of exhaustive lists to drill home that anyone in any circumstance can engage in creative activity. But I appreciated the emphasis on contentment and resourcefulness in creating a home and a sense of fulfillment out of what's given to you at the moment. Her best observation is about the destructive nature of pining for life circumstances you cannot (yet) have while neglecting to beautify or enjoy the ones you do have.
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“A Christian, who realizes he has been made in the image of the Creator God and is therefore meant to be creative on a finite level, should certainly have more understanding of his responsibility to treat God's creation with sensitivity, and should develop his talents to do something to beautify his little spot on the earth's surface.” 8 likes
“We foolish mortals sometimes live through years not realizing how short life is, and that TODAY is your life.” 7 likes
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