Celebrating completion, celebrating fall



I did it!

I finished the book and sent it off to my editor yesterday. Woohoo! Boy does that feel good. Good that I tackled the biggest project of my life and completed it. Good that I gave it my all and am happy with how it came together. Good that I have something special to share with you (someday). Good that it is off my desk and off my to-do list (at least until my editor gets back to me with any suggested revisions…). Good that I can finally catch up on sleep and basic household maintenance (you don't want to see my laundry pile!). And good that I can relax and simply enjoy spending time with my family.


After getting the book off, the girls and I spent the afternoon yesterday collecting acorns and fall leaves…


Sorting the acorns and leaves…


Pressing leaves…


Gluing the tops back on the acorns (yay, glue gun!)…


And making a celebratory cherry pie (we attempted to turn my favorite dessert from a summery pie to an autumn dish by substituting the traditional lattice top with a collection of pie crust leaves).

I'm so looking forward to more days like this ahead!

Update: If you are going to save acorns for decorations or crafts indoors, you'll need to bake them at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Otherwise you will find to your dismay that there is a small hole in the side of the acorn and a little maggot nearby after a week or two. Learn from my mistake! (Or skip the baking and use it as a lesson in biology…)


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  • Reply
    October 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    That pie is beautiful. Huge congratulations on sending the book off — can’t wait to see it when it comes out. Enjoy your family (and don’t worry about the laundry pile). xo

  • Reply
    October 1, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Congratulations on the completion of the book! Can’t wait to get a copy!

  • Reply
    amy @ kids in the studio
    October 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Congratulations! I admit, that’s not a project I would want to try with kids that young. It’s taking me weeks just to sew some jammie pants for mine! Whew–good for you!–and enjoy the family time.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Wow! That sounds a big relief! Congratulations! My deadline is just around the corner… This pie seems so yummy… Enjoy the calm days ahead!

  • Reply
    Julie Liddle, ART IN HAND
    October 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Way to go, Jean! Enjoy that feeling of accomplishment; you deserve it!

  • Reply
    The Orchard
    October 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Congratulations! I really can’t wait until it comes out (how long?).
    Enjoy your time with your family.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Congratulations! I’m sure your book will be so wonderful as your blog. Enjoy and relax! And what a beautiful pie!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Have been following your blog for about 2months and I feel your book will be amazing. Congrats to you

  • Reply
    October 1, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Congratulations! That is huge!
    And on a smaller note, that cherry pie looks so, so delicious.

  • Reply
    penny @ Wildlife Fun 4 Kids
    October 2, 2011 at 6:06 am

    Congratulations Jean wonderful news. I hope there won’t be many revisions.
    I love, love, love the acorns. I’ve never held one in my hand and after seeing them in your photos I want to so, so much! I would love them scattered through out my house.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to pre-order my copy. Amazing how much you appreciate time after having something like that take it up!

  • Reply
    October 2, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Well done Jean! Can’t wait to read it!

  • Reply
    October 2, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Congrats on your book :). It must feel great to be able get back to simple life :). And btw, your pie looks beautiful, simplest treasures make your life wonderful :)

  • Reply
    October 2, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Congratulations on the book. I will be looking forward to reading it. I really look forward to your blog updates

  • Reply
    October 2, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    You are awesome, and that pie looks so yummy!!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2011 at 3:38 am

    Congratulations!! I’m looking forward to the book!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2011 at 8:07 am

    YEAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! i’m so excited for you jean! and i can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to make your signature dessert!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Hooray for you!! What an amazing accomplishment! I cannot wait to see the final product, recommend it to all my friends (because I know it will be great without even having seen it yet) and do more art projects with my kiddos because of it.

  • Reply
    Jessica Flowers
    October 3, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Congratulations! I can’t WAIT to read it!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    October 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    We have been followers for almost a year and I enjoy making most of your projects (with a few modifications) with my homeschooled kindergartners.
    I have no doubt that your book will be very inspiring for parents and teachers alike. Congratulations for scratching one more thing off your to-do-list. :-)

  • Reply
    October 3, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Hurray for you! How very exciting, I can’t wait to see the finished product. We have been doing so much gathering and pressing here, too, and to boot, I now have serious pie envy! I love that leaf crust, I sometimes stick a few on top, but I have not tried this method before. Add that to the never-ending to-do list… :P

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 3, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Too long! The book doesn’t come out until spring of 2013.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 3, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Do you live in a place with oak trees? My girls LOVE holding and playing with the acorns! And Maia always fills her pockets with them if we walk by an oak tree.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 3, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Yes! I so appreciate my time right now…

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Thank you, everyone!! You’re the best!

  • Reply
    Wendy P
    October 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    looking forward to the book release. I love reading your blog.
    spending time creatively with children is just the best. I love every minute with my little grandson!

  • Reply
    November 14, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    My kids have been collecting acorns for weeks…now I feel the need to run find them all and make sure we are maggot-free. Ick! Thanks for the heads-up.

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