Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Book Club: The Hidden Art of Homemaking Chapter 4

Cindy is hosting a Book Club discussing The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer.  Please join us!

I've never considered myself artistic.  The college prep track I took in school left no room for art class.  College really, either excepting the Art History class I was required to take.  I enjoy some art, but don't understand it.  

I've also been a little intimidated by the sermon drawing in this chapter.  Partially because I'm concerned about using the visual in worship, partially because I'm simply unable to think on the fly how  to draw my pastor's sermons.  I do take notes, and the older children have been learning to do so as well.  They have drawn some little pictures before they could really write.  I should have R-girl working on that now.

In some ways, I think art for the homemaker has changed in the Computer Age from when Mrs. Schaeffer wrote Hidden Art.  I've been trying to transition to doing my lists digitally after reading Mystie's Paperless Home Organization.  It's a big transition, but has been worthwhile so far.  What that means, though is that I don't have papers that I'm doodling on.  But, if you look around Pinterest for home organization printables and layouts, there are beautiful, colorful pages aplenty.  If you look at Brandy's Circle Time plans, the layout and details from fonts to clip art are pleasing to the eye. 

We do love art in our homeschool. We do an art lesson every other week with friends, we use Artistic Pursuits and we have learned so much.  We look at art every day by means of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual Page A Day calendar (this is our 3rd year and we love it).  We're going to start alternating our Opal Wheeler books with the Simply Charlotte Mason Art Study packets during Circle Time.  We've enjoyed trips to museums, Art Cards, and creating Nature Journals. 

I was surprised in this chapter, by her very brief inclusion of cake decorating as one of these artistic endeavors.  I can do this a bit.  I can't say I have enough talent or patience to work at it diligently and often.  Plus, I hate the cleanup.  Each Christmas my mother and I decorate dozens of cookies. I make cakes for my kids' birthdays ... one of the most searched-for posts here is my Jack and the Beanstalk cake (which fell).

My real claim to fame with cakes is that many years ago my friend and I were asked to teach cake decorating at a Keepers at Home meeting at our church.  We did so - just piped some stars on cupcakes - and one of the young ladies (who is now in high school) took it and ran with it.  She is talented, patient, and willing to work.  And, my, how amazing her cakes are.  She did the cakes for the most recent weddings at church and regularly brings cakes for potlucks.  She has been accepted into a local vocational culinary program for her Junior and Senior years.  This is the beauty of introducing art to younger people, when their efforts vastly outpace your own.

Maybe I should make some cutouts for my own children sometime soon ...


  1. I think you're onto something there... with the cake decorating.

    Plus you may be interested to know that one of illustrator Deidre Ducker's fondest memories of Mrs Schaeffer was in reference to her cakes.

  2. I like your next to the last sentence: "This is the beauty of introducing art to younger people, when their efforts vastly outpace your own." Yes, even if we can't or don't have the time to do various of these "hidden arts" well, we can introduce them to our children and to others as the opportunity arises, and they may surprise us in their application of those little lessons.

  3. Yes, I like your penultimate sentence: "This is the beauty of introducing art to younger people, when their efforts vastly outpace your own." We can introduce even those hidden arts that we are not expert at doing to others, and then sit back be amazed at there they take those seeds of instruction.

  4. I'm glad you worked your way past the intimidation you felt and searched for the hidden art in the chapter and in your own life.
    How exciting for you, to see your 'art' passed on to the next generation!

  5. I love the idea of using the Metropolitan Museum Page A Day calendar. Remind me in December :)

  6. This is a great post, Dawn. I still haven't incorporated art study into our days consistently; I'll take a look at some of the things you linked! Some in the club have noted that taking up art can be something we do when the kids are grown, but I like your point here that even our little imperfect attempts done alongside our kids plant a seed in them that can have time to mature in them into real talent and skill.

    In my digital list-making I try to use fonts and size in my digital list to keep them eye-pleasing and not just boring, all-the-same text blocks. I suppose that's "graphic design" in a way, even though it's just using type and not images. :)

  7. I didn't know you were the one to introduce her to cake decorating. Maybe you could do another class with some of the younger girls sometime (and I could use some instruction myself!). :)


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