Home Sweet Home

I have to tell you that writing this decor/crafts post each week for my blog has really gotten my creative juices flowing...I'm so glad that God made us creative beings...in His image. For He is the most Creative of all Beings! Amen!

As I sit in a 100-year-old farmhouse in a Hungarian village filling in for some missionaries on sabbatical, these photos make me miss my home. I'm very content to be where we are, but home is always "where the heart is."

 And HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS is the theme for this mantel.

I've lived quite a nomadic life (as you are about to discover), and I've learned that home is not determined by a place or a house but by a feeling of love, family, and refreshment. 

Each of the little wooden block houses on my mantle this month represents places I have lived since being married.

Family business: Years ago, while we were homeschooling our children, we had a little family business making these houses because we thought it would be good for our children to learn some business skills. My husband was career military, and these houses were quite popular with other military families. So all of these little homes were cut by my husband and son and painted by my daughter and me. And each one has a nameplate from a location where we lived. (We don't make or sell these anymore, but they are basically chunks of wood stained, painted, lightly sanded, and stenciled with Popsicle stick name plates that are also stained, painted and sanded.)

Along with the houses, I mixed in some of my vintage books (I love vintage books). I tried to choose titles that represented our lives in some way.  "The Strange Adventures...of the Purath Family" would work better for this one, but you get the idea.

Three books in the center of our little "home sweet homes" are these:
  • A Tale of Two Cities (although we've lived in far more than two, we have some tales to tell for sure!)
  • The Cloister and the Hearth (since hearth represents home)
  • The Voyage of Life (ah, yes...life is a voyage--sometimes stormy and sometimes smooth!)

I love the textures and colors the old books add to the mantle.

I also included some vintage travel books.

On the left: A book on sites in Europe written in Hungarian. (We lived in Hungary for almost 5 years and we go back each year, so this represented our "home sweet home" in another country. We love Hungary and the Hungarian people.
In the middle: A vintage world atlas in German.We spent 3 years in Mainz, Germany when my husband was in the military, and we love Germany too.
On the right: a German guide to Sweden. (My husband's mother is half Swedish, so this book represents family roots)

An illustration of the Parliament building in London from the Hungarian book.

A map of part of Europe in the German Atlas.

I also mixed in some old boxes to add height to the mantle display.

If I were to include all of my childhood homes, there would be more than double the number of houses on the mantle. 

My father traveled with an international construction company (Peter Kewitt) supervising one aspect of large projects (like the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge) but moving on to another project when his part was finished). So I lived in 21 locations before I was 13 at which time my father started his own construction company in Colorado. It's a God-thing that I married a man who was determined to make the Army his career...you might say my childhood was preparation. So I've lived in about 40 homes in my 60 years of life. (That's an average of one move every 1 1/2 years since my birth!)

If you're interested in old books, you might like my Vintage Book Page Bookmarks and Decoupage boxes.  I also feature my antique prayer book collection in this post: Easter Mantle. Told you I love vintage books! : )

On the hearth, I used something I often use for my mantle display--some of my old luggage. But it seems especially appropriate for this month's display since many times my "home sweet home" has been packed into luggage! If you want to learn more about where I bought or retrieved these pieces of luggage, see my Christmas Mantle

This is the first time I've featured the little blue one in any of my Bible Love Notes posts. I retrieved it years ago from a trash pile in Budapest, and it was in terrible shape. It definitely needed a coat of paint and I also lined it with fabric. Quite by mistake, while experimenting with the paint, the outside took on a look of denim, which I love.

The two books I chose for the little blue suitcase are "Back to God's Country" and "The Beautiful Tree of Life." Everywhere we've lived has been "God's country" since we feel that God sent us to each place (often using Army orders). : )

And the Beautiful Tree of Life also seemed appropriate since Christ is the Tree of Life and He's been our real "roots" in every home where we've lived. Please check out my post called The Blue Book which tells what happened the morning after I set up this display and how God used "The Beautiful Tree of Life" to speak to me.

So, as I sit in our temporary home in Hungary (a 100-year-old farmhouse in Tapolca), I am blessed to look back at my home in the States and thank God for all He has given us as He's led us from one "Home Sweet Home" to another.

I'm so glad you visited Bible Love Notes, and I'd love for you to check out (and subscribe to) my home page where I write 1-minute devotions. Or check out my Marriage posts, Blog Tips and other Decor/Crafting pages. So glad you stopped by! I pray you were blessed!


  1. Wow I LOVE the little houses and books (and the Bible verse on the wall). I moved around a LOT growing up and you do have a special love of each place that was your home. What a fun and memorable way to remember. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. It's so nice to meet you!
    I love this Bible verse on your wall (it's one of my favourite) and the antique books.
    Thanks for Linking up - I hope we'll see every Thursday!

    Be blessed

  3. That is such a great idea to have little houses with all the places you have lived! They make for a cute display and great reminder. I love it!!

    Thanks for sharing this at Romance on a Dime!! I so look forward to reading your posts. :)

  4. I love the little houses. They are awesome! I love how creative you are and I love to hear about all of the place you have lived. Look forward to hearing more of your adventures!

  5. Followed over from Feathered Nest - love your collection of old books. Lucky you to be sharing blessings among others.

  6. So lovely.. I adore the little wood block houses! :)
    Thanks for sharing at Create & Inspire

  7. Lovely little house and books! Thank you for sharing at Potpourri Friday!


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