The Art of Homemaking


 Elv and I visited our Nebraskan daughters last weekend. These girls have the art of home decorating. I took pictures. I wish to brag on them a little here but I also want to show you how little effort and money it requires to create loveliness at home.

  Jenny’s husband is a photographer and a crafter. He framed his own photography here.
               Rabbit trail,dead ahead.
   Several years ago Gabe was looking at an old decoupaged wall hanging we have here at our house and said, “I know this spot…in fact I have my own camera shot of this very scene!” This is his framed version of a real spot in the Colorado mountains. 
     Framed family pictures. Candles, flowers, and a little lace or linen and a figurine. Easy, inexpensive, simple, used, functional. And personalized. These are the rules. 
     The flowers in this case happen to be one of the corsages from Franci’s wedding. She might have thrown it away, knowing it will dry out and get “ugly”.  But Jenny knows that “dried out” is not ugly, in a rose. 
    Evidently, she also knows that often lit candles are a good thing not be despised and thrown in the trash. New candles are nice but obviously not complete and not as welcoming as when they’ve dripped and melted a little from burning.

   Gabe, I’ll confess that when I first laid eyes on this window lying on its side in the wrapper, I was disappointed. It was so small for the wall you were planning to put it in, so I thought. I want to officially apologize right here. This window is lovely and plenty big for the room. Wood flooring, books, good paint, happy children, and easy chairs make this living room…a living room. 

 The artist, coffee in her hand, mirrored in the mirror Gabe made for her one Christmas. It hangs in the hall just outside the living room.  

In the children’s room.

 An old coffee grinder and a stainless coffee maker, both functional, are part of her on top the fridge decor. She must dust and clean up there more often than I would. 

                  ~                                 ~                            ~                                    ~
Next is Francis’ house. Hers is a very old, partly remodeled house right in Milford.  Nobody wants to think about changing out the old lathe and plaster behind those layers of wallpaper and now, paint. I noticed that the living room ceiling is wallpapered as well. But it’s a beautiful, homey little place. Paint and decor are miracle makers. Plus a little contentment thrown into the mix, makes for the perfect way to start out a good marriage and home.

 Nothing is more fun in a window than a deep sill. Everything from books and pillows to framed photography and plants can live on a deep window sill.


 I used to believe that there was only one way to place books in a bookcase. Long boring rows of books from side to side, upright, arranged by size and cover form. Francis knows better than this. She has made this small shelf, built by Grandpa Sid from cedar, look interesting and pretty. Stacks, rows, a few pretties, and a candle. Hmmm, what else could go on here to add interest?   

 The happy couple.  They made us a delicious meal of grilled chicken and vegetables the day we visited there. 

   Francis needs to post and tell her own story about the chandelier. I just want to comment here on it. This is a used light fixture that Elv and Josh installed for her in about twenty minutes time after lunch that day. Isn’t it beautiful? 

We live in an old house, too, as you all know. During the first few years of our married life I was seriously bored and discontent with our house. I could not see the possibilities. It was before the days of old and used being considered valuable and important. Carpet, vinyl, Tupperware, vinyl siding and vinyl windows were all the rage in those days, if you know what I mean. My old house simply was not making me happy. One day in the middle of my muddle, feeling confined and bored with my particular but misunderstood palette and paints, I woke up. By God’s grace I could add contentment and imagination to my life. He helped me to see more possibilities than I would exhaust in a lifetime right here in the old stone house. It has been an absorbing, time consuming adventure: old windows, stone walls, crooked everything, and no closets, notwithstanding. 

    Visiting our daughters’ homes and seeing their creativity is a reward from God to me, personally. What if I had never learned contentment and creativity in this old house? Hopefully, our girls would have been smarter than me anyway, but somehow I think my lesson reached them and has offered them joy in their homemaking art, as well. 
   Go ahead girls, keep creating, and learning. The rewards keep coming, I promise.

5 thoughts on “The Art of Homemaking”

  1. Thank you for the lovely compliments on our home. We don't want people to get the impression that our house is always quite this neat and tidy, because we certainly do live in it! Jenny (that's my wife) does a great job of tasteful decorating. ~GB


  2. I don't know about the camera statement there, Amy. You can't take pictures of anything but what is really there. I don't think any of these pictures are misleading at all. I have a picture of your homey things too, Amy and I 'm going to post on those as soon as I get a chance.


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