My Big Book of Projects Using Common Herbs & Flowers (Print Version!)

Last January, I asked for your help in deciding which eBook topic I should write about next. The answer was pretty clear, as you can see by the screenshot below!

new book survey

In that very same month, an amazing thing happened. I received an email from a publishing company (Page Street Publishing) asking if I was interested in writing a book for traditional print. Not just any book, but a book that would be filled to the brim with full color photographs (my favorite kind!)

The whole idea felt a little crazy and beyond surreal.

Short background story: I actually got booted from high school honors English class because my teacher told me I didn’t have the talent for it. That kind of thing sticks with you, so I never, ever, ever, ever thought I’d write a book. EVER!

(In my teacher’s defense, I was a total slacker who liked reading, daydreaming and playing Super Mario World instead of doing homework.)

Me, being a total slacker.
Me, being a total slacker in high school.

Once I determined the email was legitimate and not a joke from my brother or something, I allowed myself to get really excited. I was going to write a book!

Initially, the editors wanted to explore the idea of a soap making book. However, after showing them the data from the survey, they were more than happy to hear my ideas for the book that YOU asked for – a “big book of projects using common herbs and flowers from your yard and garden”. We reached an agreement, a contract was signed and I got to work.

Over the spring and summer, I spent the majority of each day gathering plants from my garden, making stuff, taking lots of pictures and working on THE BOOK. It completely took over our life and home. My husband was fond of saying that it looked like an herb garden exploded in our house.

We got a new kitty somewhere during the writing phase (because that’s a totally sane thing to do when you’re consumed with writing a book) and he would NOT stay out of my projects or off of the table – especially when there was catnip on there! :)

Catnip kitty

After a lot of plotting, mixing, brewing and stewing, I came up with 101 projects that I absolutely loved and thought you would too, such as:

Vanilla Rose Bath Melts


Violet Flower Sore Throat Syrup


Hollyhock Shampoo Bars


and so many more that I’ve wanted to share with you for so long, but couldn’t or I wouldn’t have anything to put in the book!

Finally, after several months, the writing was done!

Or, so I thought….

After you turn in your manuscript, there’s this thing called developmental edits. It’s where your manuscript that looked okay to you at first, gets completely covered in red marks and you realize that everything you wrote was horrible rubbish and you pretty much have to almost rewrite the whole book in just a few weeks. That part was painful, but so necessary to polish it up and turn it into something I could be proud of!


But then a final finally later, my part was done! This is a peek of the outside jacket (You can click on it for a closer look):

book jacket for 101 Easy Homemade Products

So, that’s the story of how my first print book came about. I’m happy and excited to also announce that it’s now available for pre-order!

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  1. Just preordered your book. Looking forward to getting it. Congratulations. I’ve been following your posts for a number of years and really enjoy them! Thanks for sharing

  2. Congratulations!! My book was just published this year and I laughed out loud…”you realize that everything you wrote was horrible rubbish and you pretty much have to almost rewrite the whole book” LOL….yup…. I’ll be ordering! :)

  3. Congrats Jan! All your hard work has paid off. I’m just thrilled both for you and for all of us who love your blog. It’s so exciting to think we can soon have all those recipes in a beautiful book! Now I can delete all those bookmarks?. You’ve been such an inspiration I truly appreciate your efforts.

  4. Hooray – I love that you feel that way! I always felt like I was wandering around, not quite fitting in anywhere, until I got to connect with wonderful kindred souls through this blog. It’s so nice knowing that we’re not alone in the world! :) Thank you for your support Liz – I appreciate it!

  5. How did I miss this? Congratulations Jan! It’s about time you wrote a book ! I have so many of your blog posts and magazine articles ripped out and printed out because I want to try them! Now I can just buy your book and have everything in one place. A huge hug! What an accomplishment. Lisa

  6. So exciting! I have been following your blog for a couple of years now, drawing inspiration from it for my own garden and soap adventures. Will definitely be ordering your book. Congratulations from this Nova Scotian fan!

  7. I just pre-ordered from amazon. I have been following you for a year and a half, and have learned a tremendous amount of information and have been inspired by what you do. Thank you for sharing your expertise and talent.

  8. completed an herbal apprenticeship and will share your blog with my fellow herbal/dirt loving sisters. Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas and recipes. I also pre-ordered your book.

  9. Awesome Jan! Congratulation. I just pre-ordered your book and a product from your etsy shop I ordered yesterday, not only because you make wonderful product, also to support small business. Thank you for sharing!

  10. I must say that you have been my inspiration as I have started my soap-making journey. I love your recipies, plus all the other stuff you have on your site. I was so excited that you have written a book and have preordered two – one for me and one as a gift. Thanks for sharing all that you do!

  11. This is so exciting!
    I’m so happy for you and i have included it in my amazon wish list! I want to be like the nerdy farmwife! :)

  12. I’m so happy for you, Jan! I love your blog and ebooks. It’s a DIY paradise! Looking forward to my copy in the mail. Best wishes and many more books, I hope!

  13. Hi Jan,
    Congratulations on your forthcoming book!
    Delighted that it will be available in Scotland(UK) and looking forward to reading it and getting going with more of your wonderful projects.
    With kind wishes

  14. Congratulation! It must be great feeling to have the project likt this finished.
    I am very excited and will be anxiously waiting to get my hands on your book, once it will arrive :)

  15. Hi Jan,
    I love the look (and sound) of your book! Will it be available through bookshops or just online? And – do you reckon it will reach Oz? If it’ll be available thru bookshops, I will ask my local to get it in for me (will also give them the “heads up” about the book ? – you never know…)
    Brilliant work, thanks! Sarah

  16. Jan, congratulations – this is very exciting. I have pre-ordered and really don’t think I can wait to receive it. Although I will probably be surprised when it arrives in the mail (typical “senior” moment), it will be like Christmas and I look forward to sitting down and marking all the pages of things I want to make! Thank you for all you do for us in the “natural – diy” realm!

  17. Just ordered mine. Can’t wait to get it. Your blog is my favorite soaping source. Keep up the good work! Wishing you great success!

  18. Just found your site and am totally bummed that I didn’t find you years ago. I wish I could go back in time and get all the ideas. I will be ordering your book and trying out as much as I can. After a quarter of a century in the army we have finally retired & have a yard of my own to grow my own plants and am looking forward to letting my inner herb nerd come out. Congrats on your book & thanks for all the inspiration I’m feeling just by reading the great comments people are giving you.

  19. I am glad i found your blog. It’s lovely. Congrats on the book! It looks like it going to be a wonderful. :) I’m adding to my width list!

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  21. Congratulations, Jan. I have pre-ordered and am looking forward to receiving it in March. :)

  22. Congrats and you KNOW I’ll be getting a copy!!! You’ve always been an inspiration to me, especially when I first started my own soap making journey. :D

  23. pre-ordered! thank you for everything. i have always enjoyed all that you have shared here. looking forward to it in march!

  24. Congratulations! This is great news. This must be so exciting for you. Well deserved, really, you do so much online & have really helped & inspired me a lot…all for free! (Which of course, I totally appreciate, being someone in the middle of turning my & my family’s life around & have limited funds for resources. ) Nevertheless, I know this book will be making it onto my shelves! Congrats again!

  25. Congratulations Jan, I am sure it will be a beautiful book, as all of your work is. You are truly an inspiration and a valued resource. I wish you and your family nothing but success and happiness.

  26. I learned so much from your website and because of it, I decided to pre-order two copies as a small thank-you for your willingness to so selflessly share your knowledge with us. Congratulations on your book! I look forward to receiving it.

  27. I just found your book available for pre-order here in Australia while I was looking for new herbals to stock in my store. Congratulations on your book, Jan! I’ve been using your recipes and e-books for some months now, and love that I can finally share you in hard copy with my customers. Yours is one I’ll definitely keep in stock at all times. Thank you!

  28. Thank You so much for sharing your recipes and wisdom. You are such a inspiration. Preordered the paperback version, it will be well loved and bookmarked!

  29. looks like a really interesting and useful read, Im going to order this for my Birthday, and look forward to reading it, THANKYOU.

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